Opinion | Mayor Adams and the Migrant Crisis in New York

To the Editor:

Re “Adams Says Migrant Crisis ‘Will Destroy’ the City” (news article, Sept. 8):

New York has welcomed immigrants arriving in the United States in search of safety, hope and opportunity for centuries. Mayor Eric Adams’s claim that the migrant issue will “destroy New York City” is dangerous and intentionally dividing our diverse communities that are known to work together in the face of adversity.

It is clear that overheated rhetoric and divisive, xenophobic proposals are poisoning opportunities to constructively welcome migrants in New York.

In this pivotal moment, we must strive for inclusive and compassionate policies that reflect the true spirit of New York. The mayor and others must consider the far-reaching implications of incendiary rhetoric and embrace opportunities to build a more united, equitable city for all. The path to such policies already exists.

New York lawmakers have a unique opportunity to demonstrate true historic leadership by responding with practical policy solutions to support strength and stability for immigrants and all New Yorkers, countering harmful rhetoric with humane and beneficial solutions:

  • Investing in emergency services for stability.

  • Investing in a stable legal services infrastructure, including passing the Access to Representation Act in New York and supporting the federal Fairness to Freedom Act.

  • Advocating for federal action on work authorization.

Shayna Kessler
The writer is associate director of advocacy at the Vera Institute of Justice.

To the Editor:

Mayor Eric Adams says the influx of asylum seekers will “destroy New York City.” Not the glaring socioeconomic inequality. Nor the crisis in affordable housing that drives New Yorkers away. Nor the storefronts kept vacant because of the exorbitant rents from landlords and developers. Nor the boom of empty luxury apartments bought for tax write-offs. Nor the dilapidated and unreliable subways with their frequent breakdowns and delays.

No, Mayor Adams prefers to pander to the developers, the moneyed class and the NIMBY crowd. It’s much safer to blame New York City’s problems on the tired, the poor and the huddled masses yearning to breathe free.

C.K. Kerns

To the Editor:

Instead of worrying about providing ammunition to Republicans, why not just acknowledge that the Republicans are right, which is why so many Democrats sound like Republicans on this issue?

Andrea Economos
Hartsdale, N.Y.

To the Editor:

Re “Dignified Silence Doesn’t Work Against ‘the Last Guy’” (column, Sept. 7):

Charles M. Blow criticizes President Biden for his silence on Donald Trump’s indictments. Until Mr. Trump is found guilty as charged, he’s presumed innocent, and Mr. Biden must maintain a “dignified silence” on the charges against him.

Mr. Biden would be just as wrong to use his bully pulpit against Mr. Trump as he would be to use it against anyone else who’s being prosecuted by his administration’s Justice Department.

The special counsel Jack Smith has accused Mr. Trump of making daily statements that “threaten to prejudice the jury pool” in the election-interference case against him. Mr. Biden would be equally at fault if he says anything about any of the cases pending against Mr. Trump.

Mr. Biden’s silence is not just dignified; it’s responsible.

Stephen Shender
Aptos, Calif.

To the Editor:

Re “The N.F.L.’s New Kickoff Rule Is Terrible,” by Matthew Walther (Opinion guest essay, Sept. 10):

It is the American version of football itself that is terrible.

Was Mr. Walther serious about football embodying a feeling of “sublime contentedness”? Did he have his tongue in cheek writing that “football, with its stylized warfare between city-states, its ritualized celebration of morally ambivalent heroes, its trophies and its encouragement of a quasi-pagan fatalism in the face of defeat, is among the only vestiges of our classical inheritance”?

American football is a violent activity (calling it a sport or a game does not capture its violence) that leads to lifelong injuries for many young men, much like real war. It should not be glorified.

Michael E. Mahler
Los Angeles

To the Editor:

As someone who has spent the last year educating kids and their parents about how to stay safe online, I was pleased to see “Ban Online Porn for Kids,” by David French (column, Sept. 4).

While legislation restricting children from using online pornography sites would be an excellent start, it is the bare minimum of what is needed.

Young children are using the internet, YouTube, gaming apps and Google Chat not merely for fun but also to complete assignments. Unfortunately, they are not trained to identify the red flags of scammers and exploiters who are present wherever children are online.

Additionally, the F.B.I. is currently seeing “a huge increase” in teens being sexually and financially exploited on gaming, dating, social media and messaging apps. Most major social media apps request that users are at least 13 years old. However, anyone of any age can access much of the content from these sites without an account.

We need better digital education that begins when young children are first engaging with the internet. Government protections are an important start, but schools need to add curriculum for every grade to keep kids safe in an ever-changing digital landscape.

Catherine Pearlman
Laguna Niguel, Calif.
The writer is a clinical social worker and the author of “First Phone: A Child’s Guide to Digital Responsibility, Safety and Etiquette.”

To the Editor:

Re “Debunking the ‘Recycling Myth,’ Starting With Its Symbol” (news article, Sept. 3):

The environmental impact of the plastics recyclability crisis cannot be overstated. Analysis of 35 years of data from Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Cleanup shows that 70 percent of the most common items polluting shorelines worldwide are effectively unrecyclable. Unsurprisingly, multiple scientific studies conclude that we need plastics collection and recycling to work for the health of our ocean and climate.

Ultimately, to tackle plastic pollution and increase recycling rates, we need to make fewer plastics, especially those unrecyclable single-use items that are polluting our environment in astronomical quantities, like plastic bags and foam foodware. Eliminating such items would actually help boost recycling rates by decreasing contamination.

Consider, for example, that a new Ocean Conservancy report estimates that Americans are unknowingly contaminating the recycling stream with more than two billion pieces of foam each year.

Truth-in-labeling laws like California’s, which will prohibit companies from placing recycling symbols on products that are not widely recycled, are critical, but only as part of a holistic approach that starts with eliminating the most problematic items altogether and requiring producers to make the rest truly recyclable.

Anja Brandon
Portland, Ore.
The writer is associate director of U.S. Plastics Policy at Ocean Conservancy.

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