OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and others attempting to have a press conference in New York City to address the ongoing migrant influx crisis were booed and shouted down by protesters angry that Mayor Eric Adams and the City Counsel are not adequately addressing the situation.
Also, at one point, Fox News was forced to cut short live coverage of the demonstrations after protesters grew too loud and boisterous.
AOC and other city Democrats spoke outside of the Roosevelt Hotel in Manhattan, which has become a center for asylum seekers. They were repeatedly drowned out by protesters shouting things like “Send them back!” and “Close the border!”
“Close the border! Close the border! Respect the constitution, AOC! I am your constituent!” one man using a megaphone was heard shouting during the event, Fox News reported.
“What we seek to do is to make sure that all the resources are necessary and that we are joining with the city and state,” Ocasio-Cortez said before the man with the megaphone shouted over her.
“Illegal immigration is not right! Respect the constitution, close the border!” he said.
Rep. Adriano Espaillat, D-N.Y., meanwhile, said the congressional delegation was there to “see for themselves what the migration dynamic is in our nation.” He added that they saw children, families, and “people that want to work, people that are fleeing violence, people that are fleeing environmental disasters.”
“We see so many stories, heartbreaking stories, manifest itself here. What I think, these are folks that will take New York City to a better place,” he continued, amid shouts and screaming in the background.
“Every crisis presents great opportunity. There’s hope and opportunity in this building,” Espaillat claimed, adding that “this is a contentious issue” as he gestured towards the throngs of demonstrators.
The delegation at the press conference, in addition to Ocasio-Cortez and Espaillat, were Democrat Reps. Veronica Escobar and Sylvia Garcia of Texas, Nydia Velazquez and Jerrold Nadler of New York, Jesús García, Delia Ramirez and Mike Quigley of Illinois, Jimmy Gomez and Tony Cárdenas of California and Rob Menendez of New Jersey, Fox News noted.
“I think that there are three points of consensus here that are very important in getting a solution to that issue,” Ocasio-Cortez added as the heckling intensified. “The first is that there is consensus here across geographies and state on increased federal resources to cities and municipalities dealing with this issue.”
“The second is to allow for work authorizations so that folks in here can get to work and start supporting themselves as soon as possible. They are prevented from getting jobs. They are prevented from employment and that is part of the strain on our public systems,” she went on. “The faster that folks can access the work that they’re asking for, legally, the better we can solve this problem.”
On his first day in office in January 2021, President Joe Biden reversed most of former President Donald Trump’s policies on tough immigration enforcement and border security, which Republicans have since blamed for the subsequent and now years-long migrant invasion.
Earlier this month, Adams, at a town hall-style event in the city, complained that the Biden administration wasn’t doing enough to assist with accommodating tens of thousands of illegal immigrants, many of whom arrived via bus from border states.
“Let me tell you something, New Yorkers. Never in my life have I had a problem that I did not see an ending to. I don’t see an ending to this. I don’t see an ending to this. This issue will destroy New York City. Destroy New York City,” Adams said during a Town Hall meeting on the Upper West Side. “We’re getting 10,000 migrants a month.”
“We had a $12 billion deficit that we’re going to have to cut. Every service in this city is going to be impacted. All of us,” Adams added. “It’s going to come to your neighborhoods. All of us are going to be impacted by this. I said it last year when we had 15,000. I’m telling you now with 110,000. The city we knew we’re about to lose. And we’re all in this together.”