Mayor Adams packs for 4-day Latin America trip to 'learn more … – New York Daily News

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Mayor Adams — whose chief adviser believes the federal government should “close the borders” to address the migrant crisis — is traveling to South and Central America this week to “learn more” about the root causes of the crisis, his office announced Monday.
According to an advisory released by City Hall, Adams will start off the trip by visiting Mexico City on Wednesday. While there, he will attend the North Capital Forum, a conference focused on challenges facing the U.S. with topics including economic development, innovation and national security.
The next day, Adams will head to Puebla, east of Mexico City, before traveling to Ecuador on Friday to meet with local officials to find out about their “asylee integration” programs, the advisory states.
On Saturday, the mayor’s bound for Colombia, where he’ll also meet with local officials and visit the Darién Gap, a section of the border with Panama that many migrants cross before making their way to the U.S. He’ll travel back to New York late Saturday, according to his office.
The advisory states that the purpose of the trip is to “foster relationships, learn more about the path asylum seekers take to get to the United States, and meet with local and national leaders about the situations on the ground leading to an influx of asylum seekers arriving in the U.S.”
The Latin America tour comes on the heels of the mayor’s budget office issuing a memo to all city agencies instructing them that taxpayer dollars cannot be used for any “travel expenses outside of NYC,” citing concerns about the fiscal burden of the migrant crisis.
To that end, an Adams spokeswoman said the mayor is paying his own way while in Ecuador and Colombia.
Costs associated with the visit to Mexico will be covered by the U.S.-Mexico Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to fostering ties between the two nations, the spokeswoman added.
Joining Adams on the trip are Ed Mermelstein, Adams’ international affairs commissioner, and Emanuel Castro, his immigrant affairs commissioner, who will also go out of pocket to cover their own expenses, according to the spokeswoman.
The mayor’s travel comes after Ingrid Lewis-Martin, his chief City Hall adviser, said in an interview that aired Sunday that federal authorities should seal the U.S. southern border to prevent more migrants from arriving.
“We need the federal government, the Congress members, the Senate and the president to do its job: Close the borders,” Lewis-Martin said in the interview on PIX11.
Lewis-Martin’s comment drew waves of criticism from local Democratic lawmakers, who accused her of echoing Republican talking points.
Amid the backlash, Fabien Levy, Adams’ deputy mayor of communications, issued a statement saying that “of course this nation should continue to welcome immigrants — both those seeking asylum and those who are not.”
According to the latest data from City Hall, the Adams administration continues to house and provide services for more than 61,000 migrants, most of whom hail from Latin American countries. Most of the migrants are fleeing poverty and violence in their home countries and hope to claim asylum in the U.S.
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