Julio Sánchez Cristo: Mayor Adams, welcome and thank you for coming to our country.
Mayor Eric Adams: Good morning. [Inaudible] to speak with you today on this radio program.
Cristo: How was your trip to Colombia? What can you tell us?
Mayor Adams: Well, I tell you, it is one of the most beautiful countries, and your friendship and hospitality is really something to admire. And I see that you have showed the level of benevolence as any country would do who…for those who are asylum seekers and migrants in this region.
Cristo: Mayor, we have a big problem that you have it also in New York and United States. And that problem begins in Tapón del Darién, in our border with Panama, that’s the beginning of the migration crisis. What do you suggest to get a better situation in all those people?
Mayor Adams: I think that it was important for me to see firsthand the large number of people who are coming through your country through Panama and other parts of the South America [inaudible] Venezuelans and other groups, and then to hear from your leaders directly how you have played such a major role in ensuring that people get the basic support they need.
And we as this country— America— and others in the regions, we must coordinate together so this does not impact one country alone, we must make sure that there is a unified response. And I think that if America partners with Colombia, Ecuador and Mexico, we could coordinate to slow down the flow and not have people going through the dangerous trek of the Darién Gap, and that is my hope, and that’s the message I am bringing back to my country.
Cristo: Mayor Adams, what’s your opinion after your trip to Colombia on how President Biden administration is handling the immigration crisis?
Mayor Adams: I believe that there were several federal officials who have also visited the region as well. And I think that is important, that the national government come up with real immigration reforms, and that includes Congress and the White House. And it’s about controlling the borders and make sure that we have a strategy to spread out the migrants and asylum seekers throughout the entire region so it doesn’t all fall on one country.
And I believe that we must give support to places like Colombia, who, you have done an amazing job of absorbing a large number of migrants, almost 2.5 million thus far. And if we give the support to help with infrastructure we can slow the flow through Ecuador and Mexico; and finally, through America.
Juan Esteban Silva: Mr. Adams, I would like to know, U.S. is about to begin deporting Venezuelans in effort to cut down border numbers. In the case of New York City, how many people are we talking about?
Mayor Adams: We have approximately any number of people. We know that the president passed a policy that every Venezuelan that comes into New York City before July 31st, 2023, is eligible for TPS. But we have thousands who are coming into the country after that number, and when you look after the entire country, there’s a larger number in other parts of the country like Chicago, Los Angeles, Houston, Washington.
And so the total number throughout the entire country, I don’t have, but in New York City, we believe anything that’s over the 15,000 number. they could be eligible for the White House to determine they’re not eligible for TPS. So, I don’t have the exact number that’s available because it’s spread throughout the entire country.
Cristo: Mayor, thank you very much for your time, for your visit to our country, to be in Necoclí with our Ambassador Murillo. I know that you have a very good relation with him and hope that we will return very soon.
Mayor Adams: Thank you. Thank you very much, and let’s continue to work together. The people of Colombia and the people of New York City have a long, deep relationship, and we want to build on that relationship. Thank you very much.
October 9, 2023