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NYC Mayor Eric Adams calls for an END to sanctuary city status in screeching U-turn after welcoming migrants as Big Apple is swamped by 200,000 in just 18 months

New York Mayor Eric Adams has called for a radical overhaul of sanctuary city status in a dramatic reversal as the city buckles under the weight of migrant arrivals.

The Democratic leader has faced a furious backlash as schools, hotels and community centers have been handed over to the 180,000 migrants he has warned will “destroy” the city.

He has been a staunch defender of the decades-old sanctuary city status, which prohibits city officials from asking questions about a person’s immigration status or disclosing it to federal authorities.

But he unveiled his major policy shift after angry residents criticized him over migrant crimes, including January’s brutal Times Square attack on two officers, which saw most suspects released on bail within hours of their arrest.

“We need to change the law of the Sanctuary City so that if you commit a crime or violent act, we should be able to hand you over to ICE and have you deported,” he said during a town hall meeting Monday night.

New York’s mayor reiterated his comments at a news conference Tuesday: “We should not allow people who repeatedly commit crimes to stay here and we cannot work with ICE on that,” he said.

More than 180,000 migrants have arrived in New York since spring 2022, costing the city billions of dollars in social services

More than 180,000 migrants have arrived in New York since spring 2022, costing the city billions of dollars in social services

But tensions have increased in the wake of a series of high-profile crimes, including the infamous gang attack on two NYPD officers by Venezuelan migrants in Times Square last month.

But tensions have increased in the wake of a series of high-profile crimes, including the infamous gang attack on two NYPD officers by Venezuelan migrants in Times Square last month.

More than 560 cities, states and counties have declared themselves sanctuary cities since the early 1980s, with New York adopting the status under former Democratic Mayor Ed Koch.

But sanctuary cities have been a favorite target of governors at the southern border, who have ferried thousands of migrants north as the migration crisis has gathered steam.

Under the current sanctuary status, police in participating cities are not allowed to arrest anyone for being an illegal immigrant, and the city will not cooperate with an investigation by immigration authorities unless ordered to do so by a court.

Adams insisted, “We must protect our immigrants. Period,” when he declared his candidacy in October 2021, adding, “New York City will remain a haven under Adams’ administration.”

Just last month, he defended the status after it was attacked by Nikki Haley for encouraging illegal migration during a Republican primary debate.

“This has nothing to do with sanctuary cities, migrants and asylum seekers are being released into the country on parole, they are here legally,” he told Fox News.

But the city expects to spend $10.6 billion by the end of 2025 and in December announced a budget that would cut the number of NYPD officers by a fifth and cut education by $1 billion over two years.

Migrants collect clothing in cold weather last month as mutual aid groups distribute food and clothing near the Migrant Assistance Center at St. Brigid Elementary School in New York

Migrants collect clothing in cold weather last month as mutual aid groups distribute food and clothing near the Migrant Assistance Center at St. Brigid Elementary School in New York

Adams has desperately turned to several city landmarks, makeshift shelters and temporary housing to find space for the influx of migrants, including the former Catholic school St. John Villa Academy (pictured) on Staten Island

Adams has desperately turned to several city landmarks, makeshift shelters and temporary housing to find space for the influx of migrants, including the former Catholic school St. John Villa Academy (pictured) on Staten Island

Adams was criticized for announcing a $53 million debit card program that could give an immigrant family with two children under 17 up to $15,200 a year

Adams was criticized for announcing a $53 million debit card program that could give an immigrant family with two children under 17 up to $15,200 a year

“Let me tell you something, New Yorkers,” Adams said at a public meeting in September. ‘Never in my life have I had a problem that I could not see an end to. I don’t see an end to this.

“This issue will destroy New York City. Destroy the city of New York.”

He faced more pressure this week over his plans for a $53 million debit card scheme that could give a migrant family with two children under 17 up to $15,200 a year.

Refuge status has come under increasing pressure in other cities dealing with an influx of migrants, and Chicago’s Democratic leaders were criticized late last year for blocking a vote on ending sanctuary status.

Mayor Brandon Johnson ordered his lieutenants to quash a bid to put the controversial Welcoming City Ordinance to a referendum during Chicago’s March primary.

Adams admitted earlier this month that he would use his executive power to override some sanctuary regulations if allowed to do so as he was challenged by Republican city council members.

And his U-turn was hailed as a “welcome change” by City Councilman Joe Borelli.

However, the Legal Aid Society said reforms would criminalize the innocent.

“What Mayor Eric Adams wants would allow local law enforcement to transfer New Yorkers merely suspected of a crime to ICE, disrupting local criminal justice processes, perpetuating family separations and dividing communities,” it said. report in a statement.

Adams blamed Congress Monday night for its handling of the crisis, insisting his hands were tied by federal law.

“People tell me all the time that they see me on the street and say, ‘Well Eric, why don’t you stop getting on the buses?’ It’s against the law, I can’t do that,” he told the gathering.

“Why don’t you let those who want to work – let them work?” It’s against the law – federal law – I can’t do that.

The Big Apple has been flooded with an influx of migrants that the mayor estimates will cost taxpayers $10.6 billion over three fiscal years.

The Big Apple has been flooded with an influx of migrants that the mayor estimates will cost taxpayers $10.6 billion over three fiscal years.

Schools, nursing homes and a string of historic hotels have been requisitioned to house many of the 180,000 migrants who have arrived in the city since spring 2022.

Schools, nursing homes and a string of historic hotels have been requisitioned to house many of the 180,000 migrants who have arrived in the city since spring 2022.

“Why are you saying you have to accommodate everyone who comes in?” Because that’s the law.

“Why don’t you deport those who commit crimes and harm people who don’t do the right thing?” It’s against the law, I can’t do it.

“So I’m inheriting a national crisis to solve and we’re solving that crisis like no other city, folks.

‘Go Googling other cities. You don’t see tent cities in New York. In New York you don’t see children and families sleeping on the streets. This team here has overcome the crisis every time they have come here.”