The war of words between Mayor Eric Adams and Texas Governor Greg Abbott over the busing of migrants from the Texas-Mexico border to New York City began as petty politicking but is now bordering on the obscene.
What appears to be rhetorical banter between the politicians negates the nightmare that these migrants must have endured to arrive here in the city.
Some of them, despite having no real connection to the city, were put on a bus carrying information saying their contact address here was Catholic Charities of New York.
These migrants are being used as pawns in a larger chess match between Democrats and Republicans, with neither side having a workable solution to the problem.
Abbott said recently that in his mind, New York “is the ideal destination for these migrants, who can receive the abundance of city services and housing that Mayor Eric Adams has boasted about within the sanctuary city.”
Adams countered that in retaliation, he was considering boosting the campaign of Abbott’s gubernatorial opponent, Democrat Beto O’Rourke. Abbott, in response, tapped into his inner “Dirty Harry” and publicly dared Adams to “Make my day” by carrying through on his threat to send New Yorkers to campaign against his re-election bid.
He said there “could hardly be anything better” for him than for O’Rourke to be “aided by a bunch of New Yorkers.”
“Mayor Adams said that they welcome in illegal immigrants. And now, once they have to deal with the reality of it, they’re suddenly flummoxed, and they cannot handle it,” Abbott said, adding: “They are now getting a taste of what we’re having to deal with.”
Then the verbal volleys turned personal, with Adams calling Abbott “an anti-American governor that is really going against everything we stand for” before calling him a “global embarrassment.”
Only adding to the confusion was New York Gov. Kathy Hochul’s statement that the Empire State could use more migrant labor while dismissing suggestions that sanctuary city protections have anything to do with a growing crisis that bringing busloads of asylum seekers to New York City has created.
“I just did a farm tour upstate New York. They’re begging for workers,” Hochul told reporters. “I walked the streets of Manhattan, I walked the streets of Albany — there’s help-wanted signs everywhere.”
“We … can put aside everybody’s passions around this and say: ‘This is actually good for our economy,’ ” she added.
Name-calling and other verbal assaults between politicians do nothing for these refugees and only unduly complicate their ongoing plight.
As Bishop Mario E. Dorsonville, auxiliary bishop of Washington and chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Migration, said after 50 migrants were discovered dead in the back of truck at the southern border last month, “This is a … harrowing depiction of the extreme risks assumed by migrants out of sheer desperation.
“Unfortunately, this disregard for the sanctity of human life is all too common in the context of migration. As a Church called to build a culture of life, we cannot tolerate this injustice.
“Instead, we must recognize that we are brothers and sisters, each imbued with God-given dignity.”
At the end of the day, however, actions speak louder than words.