New York City Democratic Mayor Eric Adams has walked back his plans to house migrants at Gracie Mansion, the official residence of the city's mayor, due to apparent legal barriers to the move.
The city has struggled to contend with a surge in new arrivals as Texas Gov. Greg Abbott continues to bus migrants from the southern border to sanctuary cities in a bid to highlight the Biden administration's lax approach to border enforcement.
Adams originally made the offer earlier this month, but the mayor on Thursday cited unspecified legal hurdles that had prevented him from honoring his pledge to use the estate as a migrant shelter. He did tout the symbolic value of the offer saying, "we are never going to break the law. And so, we’d be able to know what we can’t do and what we can’t do as a symbolism of saying, 'I'm willing to open up the people’s house to the people of the city,'" the New York Post reported.
"I think leading the challenge of the migrant problem is both substantive and symbolic and as I always said, 'Good generals lead from the front,'" he added. "They don’t send their troops into battle and ask, 'How was the war?' They lead them into battle. The symbolism of saying, 'I'm willing to put a homeless family in Gracie' is that symbolism."
Adams has attempted to bus migrants out of the city and into neighboring upstate counties, though a judge barred him from continuing the practice after those municipalities vehemently objected to the effort. The city estimates that roughly 1% of the city's migrant arrivals are being housed upstate.
He has also floated housing excess migrants in private homes and an abandoned prison. New York Democratic Gov. Kathy Hochul has also begun exploring the possibility of using state college campuses to handle the overflow.
"We are looking at all state assets to help ameliorate the problem which is at a crisis level here in the city of New York, so yes, SUNY [State University of New York] campuses are part of the inventory of what we're looking at," she said in May. Adams has not yet asked the governor to make those spaces available, per the Post.
Ben Whedon is an editor and reporter for Just the News. Follow him on Twitter.