Mayor Eric Adams Looks to Rome to Solve NYC’s Migrant Problem

The NYC Mayor lauded Pope Francis’ calls for migrants to be treated humanely. Addressing the Romans, he said: “New York Is the Rome of America!” (Image from Google, insert by

By Justin Klawans at The Week: It is no secret that New York City has been dealing with a critical influx of migrants, and Mayor Eric Adams is now looking to a city 4,200 miles away for a solution. Adams recently traveled to Rome and met with Italian leaders on ways to solve New York’s migrant crisis. The three-day trip, which took place in mid-May, included meetings with Pope Francis and Italian leaders from other religions, as well as Roman city officials. Beyond meetings, Adams also visited facilities set up by Rome to house migrants and asylum seekers. He was impressed by “how fast they’re able to cycle the migrants and asylum seekers out of the welcome center,” Adams said in a press briefing, noting that within two months, Roman officials “target to get folks into working trades, teaching them basic Italian and moving them forward through the system.” The mayor said that he would take a number of ideas he found in the Italian capital and work to implement them in the City that Never Sleeps. But what specific takeaways from Rome can Adams use in New York City?

What did Adams do in Rome? 

Beyond a meeting with the pope, as well as other Christian and Jewish leaders, Adams also “[attended] the World Meeting on Human Fraternity, where he discussed with world leaders city and international issues,” said Spectrum News NY1. While mayors of American cities often travel abroad, Adams reportedly used the visit to specifically highlight problems within New York. While the migrant crisis was his most pressing issue, Adams also made the most of his time viewing ways in which New York’s infrastructure could be improved — the Roman way. This included a trip to Rome’s famed Colosseum and nearby metro station, where he found that Rome is “using advanced technology” to create improved subway system tunnels “that could be helpful in New York,” said Spectrum. Adams’ most notable political sit-down was likely a meeting with his counterpart in Rome, Mayor Roberto Gualtieri, where the pair discussed asylum issues.  

What ideas from Rome could Adams implement in New York City?

The main takeaway Adams seemed to acquire was that migrants who arrive in Rome “from countries including Syria and Sudan are processed, take Italian lessons and receive health care before being sent out for job opportunities,” said The New York Times. Adams “said he wanted help from the Biden administration to develop something similar in New York,” and has “called on the federal government to expedite work permits and relocation assistance for migrants.” This has not been the first time that Adams has appealed to the White House for help, as he has previously admitted that the migrant overflow in New York City has reached a boiling point. But he seemed to find a shining light in Rome. 

“What really jumped off at me and my conversation with the mayor is how quick they are able to work,” Adams said to reporters, per Politico. As a result of being taught the country’s language, migrants to Italy “are allowed to work within a short period of time, anywhere from two months. You are able to really be a part of the society,” Adams said. 

More here.