The mayor’s trip comes as his administration is seeing a recent uptick in new arrivals, with about 600 asylum seekers now arriving every day.
During the tour, Adams plans to fight what he called misinformation that is coming from migrant smugglers and being popularized on social media platforms, where asylum-seekers are misled into thinking New York City will greet them with luxury and work opportunities.
The mayor said he will be appearing on radio stations, television channels and newspaper pages to deter potential migrants from coming to New York, which is part of a broader campaign of trying to discourage asylum-seekers that has also included fliers handed out at the border and trying to limit stays at shelters.
“We need to counteract those forms of communications that are basically saying ‘You come to the City of New York, you’re going to automatically have a job, you’re going to be in a five star hotel,’” Adams said.
Adams, who does not speak Spanish, will be spending little more than a day in each country. Yet he was confident Tuesday he could make a dent in what he termed false promises that migrants hear en route to New York.
“It would be foolish for me to sit back and not try to stop this on a local, state, national and international level,” he said.
The cost of the mayor’s travel in Mexico will be covered by the U.S.-Mexico Foundation. The mayor will pay for the Ecuador and Colombia legs on his own dime, and city commissioners Edward Mermelstein, of the Office of International Affairs, and Manuel Castro, from the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs, will join the trip and foot their own bills.
The mayor’s police protection, organized by the NYPD Intelligence Bureau, will be paid by the city.
The trip comes as migrant arrivals — which total more than 117,000 over the past year — have recently surged in New York. While the city was at one point receiving 10,000 migrants a month, that number is likely to rise significantly, Adams indicated.
The visit includes stops in Mexico City and Puebla, which is also in Mexico, and Quito, Ecuador, where the mayor plans to visit asylum-seeker service providers and talk with government officials. He’s also going to the Darién gap, the rough, dense patch of jungle that spans the Colombia-Panama border region.
Even as Adams’ strong rhetoric on immigration has enraged his colleagues on his left and made strange bedfellows in the conservative movement, the mayor continues to draw a line on how far, and under what terms, he is willing to go to battle the migrant crisis.
On Tuesday, the mayor overruled his chief adviser, Ingrid Lewis-Martin, after she drew harsh scrutiny from New York City Council members for saying the United States should close its southern border.
“We believe the borders should remain open; that’s the official position of the city,” Adams said.