Felicia Persaud (26512)
Felicia Persaud

On Friday night, February 3, 2023, as temperatures shot downward to 4 degrees in New York City, Mayor Eric Adams showed what real leadership means and by so doing, became a light in the thick blackness that has become the U.S. immigration saga.

Whereas many are quick to show hate and judgment to downtrodden human beings who are willing to leave everything they know behind to venture into the unknown and suffer in unimaginable ways for freedom and a better life, Adams showed love and real humanity. 

Whereas the talking heads of Fox News speak from their multi-million-dollar studios and go home to their multi-million-dollar homes from behind tinted car windows, never daring to come close to the poor immigrants they relegate to less than, Adams was willing to share a cot next to hundreds of asylum-seeking men whose only shelter is now the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal in Manhattan.

Whereas Vice President Kamala Harris, the supposed immigration czar, has visited the southern border once and of course had no interaction with immigrants, New York City’s mayor was willing to share a meal with them, hang out with them and sleep among them. She has also never once come out of her house when buses have dropped off migrants right outside in frigid conditions, including on Christmas Eve. Instead, from her warm, cozy office, she has simply falsely claimed that the immigration crisis is under control. This as the Migrant Solidarity Mutual Aid Network has rushed to the front of her house with blankets to help immigrants dropped off by buses sent by the Texas governor. 

Whereas President Joe Biden, for all the talk about caring for immigrants, finally made it to a border town last month for the first time since taking office in 2021 and also ignored the Big Apple’s spiraling $2 billion migrant crisis later last month during a visit to tout $292 million in federal spending on a new rail tunnel, New York City’s mayor is willing to show them respect.

This as the Biden administration continues to follow the Trumpian policies to keep out most asylum seekers; has failed to pitch in with any aid to help the city with this mega crisis; and Biden never bothered to stop by the Terminal or the hotel where New York City is draining itself to care for more than 44,000 migrants to date.

What Adams, along with New York State Assemblymember Eddie Gibbs, did on Friday, Feb. 3, 2023, should go down in history, so politicians and leaders everywhere can take a page from their books. 

Not only did Adams show up and hunker down on a cot, just like the ones provided for the immigrants on the floor of the terminal, but he also hung out with them, even playing a World Cup soccer video with one of the migrants, much to their amazement.  

“We’re going to stay the night with our brothers and just let them know we’re all in this together,” Adams posted on social media, wearing an NYPD baseball cap and a black sweatshirt with the letters “GSD”—his acronym for “Get Stuff Done.”

“This is how you get through things,” he added.

And he is so right. But more importantly, as Adams rightly said: “I would never ask anyone to do something I wouldn’t be willing to do myself.” 

And so, he put “his money where his mouth is,” as the saying goes, and by so doing, won the respect of these asylum seekers. But his actions should also win the respect of all New Yorkers and those across the country. To quote Adam’s own words: It “gives new meaning to the words ‘love thy neighbor.’” 

Adams’s love and leadership in a cold, dark world shines brightly as a beacon of what Lady Liberty and America once were. Shine on, Mr. Mayor, shine on!

The writer is publisher of NewsAmericasNow.com – The Black Immigrant Daily News.

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