Former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Sunday that Big Apple Mayor Eric Adams “is right” to warn the migrant crisis could “ destroy” the five boroughs .
Cuomo, 65, sided with Adams while bashing their fellow Dems — President Biden and successor Gov. Kathy Hochul — over migrant policies he called “madness.
“The federal government has failed to manage the problem,” Cuomo told the largely black congregation at God’s Battalion of Prayer Church in Prospect Lefferts Garden, Brooklyn — a friendly audience that has welcomed the scandal-scarred thrice elected governor in the past.
“The plain truth is New York City is overloaded,” said the former gov, who has been rumored to be plotting a political comeback after stepping down from his post in 2021 during an avalanche of sexual misconduct and harassment allegations.
“We cannot take more than we have taken. And the plain truth is New York City cannot pay the bill for this migrant problem,” Cuomo said, echoing comments he made on his podcast last week.
“It is billions and billions of dollars for New York City. And this is on top of the homeless problem, the crime problem, people leaving, businesses leaving post-COVID.”
Cuomo then blasted Hochul, his former lieutenant who was elevated to Albany’s top job in the wake of his resignation. The former governor has denied the accusations against him.
Hochul, for example, has refused to try to force other parts of the state to take migrants.
Cuomo said the steps that the state and feds have taken — or not — to deal with the migrant crisis so far make “no sense.
“It’s madness,” Cuomo said. “Mayor Adams is right. This is unsustainable, and it’s unjustifiable.”
Earlier this month, Adams famously predicted the raging issue could “destroy” New York City as the White House turns a deaf ear to the thousands of asylum seekers arriving in the Big Apple each month.
“I’m gonna tell you something, New Yorkers, never in my life have I had a problem that I didn’t see an ending to. I don’t see an ending to this,” Adams said at the time at a town hall on the Upper West Side . “This issue will destroy New York City.”
Cuomo said Sunday, “It’s not a New York City problem, it’s a federal and a state problem first.
“The federal government has to do its job. Manage the population, do it intelligently. And do it fairly. And the federal government has to pay the bill. Because the last people who should have to pay it are the taxpayers of the City of New York,” he said.
“It’s time to stand in solidarity with Mayor Adams when he says this should not be on the shoulders of New York City residents alone. We need help from the federal government and the state government.”
Cuomo also bashed his own party over crime.
“Hard truth, people out there on the street or afraid of crime. That is the truth,” Cuomo said.
“And you have too many politicians, and I’m a Democrat, too many Democrat politicians who are hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil. ‘What crime?! I don’t see no crime! It’s a Republican conspiracy.’
“Makes no sense,” Cuomo said. “Because crime hurts our people. Seventy to 80% of the victims of crime, black and brown, and poor.
” ‘Defund the police’ are the three dumbest political words ever uttered,” he added, referring to lefties’ push to take money away from cops.
The former governor’s speech echoed predecessor ex-Gov. David Paterson’s recent barrage of criticism of current Democratic standard bearers on the migrant crisis and crime.
Paterson again took to the airwaves Sunday to discuss the topics but praised Hochul, who like him was elevated to office in a sex scandal, for recently taking on the feds over the migrants.
“Gov. Hochul in the last few days has really changed her position about the migrants, completely supporting what Mayor Adams has been saying for a couple of months, which is that this is really a federal problem that got dropped on New York City and New York state without any particular assistance; no plan to solve the problem,” Paterson told host John Catsimatidis on WABC 770’s “Cats Roundtable” on Sunday.
Adams, for his part, took a more conciliatory tone than usual Sunday when asked whether his partners in government were rising to the occasion.
“I want to thank the president, I want to thank his team,” Adams said, referring to the White House’s decision to clear a pathway for migrants from Venezuela and Afghanistan to work , on WABC’s “ Up Close With Bill Ritter .
“We have been speaking about this for several months, now meeting with the White House team, several conversations with the White House Chief of Staff,” Adams said.
“And you know, thank the governor for even adding her voice to it,” Hizzoner added.
But he also continued to sound the alarm bell on the migrant influx — which has seen more than 110,000 asylum seekers come to the Big Apple since spring 2022.
“We cannot spike the ball, because this is not going to deal with all of the migrants and asylum seekers who are in this city,” Adams said. “We have about 60,000 in our care, 10,000 a month, and many of those new arrivals won’t be able to apply for the TPS [Temporary Protected Status] and for the other benefits of this [Venezuelan and Afghanistan] initiative.”
Cuomo’s Sunday church appearance came after he showed up at a prominent Brooklyn Democratic club earlier in the month.
He had chosen the same church, God’s Battalion of Prayer Church, in March 2022 for his first public speech after his resignation, during which he complained about being a victim of “cancel culture.”
Basil Smikle told WCBS in March of 2022, “There might be some in the black community who feel he was railroaded, which I think is why going to a black church on a Sunday made sense for him.
“Folks here, not just here central Brooklyn, the whole Caribbean community, they have a love for Cuomo and they really wish he didn’t resign.”