New York City Mayor Eric Adams is traveling to three countries in Central and South America this week to discourage migrants from making the trek to his city, where more than 100,000 asylum-seekers have arrived since last year, Politico reports. On Wednesday, he start a four-day trip and public relations blitz that includes stops in Mexico, Colombia and Ecuador. Adams plans to deliver a stern message to would-be migrants thinking of applying for asylum in the U.S. and heading for New York City. “We want to give people a true picture of what is here,” Adams said. “We are at capacity.” The mayor’s trip comes as his administration is seeing an uptick in new arrivals, with about 600 asylum seekers 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 appear on radio stations, television channels and newspaper pages to deter potential migrants from coming to New York, 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 spend 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 of the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs, will join the trip and foot their own bills.