Controversy Erupts After New York Democrat Said Illegal Immigrants Needed for Redistricting In Resurfaced Clip
Controversy Erupts After New York Democrat Said Illegal Immigrants Needed for Redistricting In Resurfaced Clip

By Tom Ozimek

Amid the massive influx of illegal aliens into New York City that has filled up shelters and prompted the mayor to declare there’s no room to accommodate more, controversy has been sparked by a resurfaced clip of a New York Democrat saying she could use more migrants in her district “for redistricting purposes.”

While New York City Mayor Eric Adams warned recently that illegal immigrants would soon be forced to sleep on the streets as the city struggles to find space to house them amid a surge in new arrivals, a years-old video message circulating on social media from New York City Rep. Yvette Clarke (D-N.Y.) strikes a much different chord.

“I’m from Brooklyn, New York. We have a diaspora that can absorb a significant number of these migrants,” Ms. Clarke, who once served on the House Committee on Homeland Security, said in the clip.

While the video is from several years ago, it is noteworthy because Democrats have long been accused of welcoming lax border policies and illegal immigration for political benefit.

“When I hear colleagues talk about, you know, the doors of the inn being closed—ah, no room at the inn—I’m saying I need more people in my district just for redistricting purposes,” Ms. Clarke continued, adding that they “could clearly fit here.”

For years, Democrats have been fighting to redraw New York’s congressional map in their favor.

Rep. Yvette Clarke (D-N.Y.) (C) speaks during a news conference about illegal immigration, in Washington, on Sept. 22, 2021. (Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

Clip Sparks Controversy

The video has spread widely online, drawing attention from such prominent individuals as Tesla CEO Elon Musk, a former White House press secretary, a Republican New York City councilwoman, and others.

“We need more people to come to America illegally—so I can keep my job in Congress. If you want to know why Ds support illegal immigration, here’s your sorry answer. It’s stunning she said it,” Ari Fleischer, White House press secretary under President George W. Bush, said in a post on X.

New York City councilwoman Vickie Paladino, a Republican, took to X to say that the “big scam” that nobody is talking about is the fact that blue states have been losing seats as “people flee progressive policies” and that seat allocations are “determined by census-calculated raw population, including illegals.”

“See how it works?” Ms. Paladino asked.

“This is how open borders and a stream of illegals will bolster blue state power—by getting as many new bodies as possible into the state, it will impact our census count and ultimately equal a more powerful congressional delegation,” she added.

End Wokeness, a prominent account on X that is critical of leftist policies, shared Ms. Clarke’s video, commenting that she was “saying the quiet part out loud about the border.”

Mr. Musk shared the End Wokeness post, adding his own comment: “Is this legal?”

Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk speaks at the SATELLITE Conference and Exhibition in Washington, on March 9, 2020. (Susan Walsh/AP Photo)

For her part, Ms. Clarke objected to the use of the older video in context of the current migrant crisis gripping New York, and other places, while calling out Mr. Musk for his post.

“Either @elonmusk didn’t realize a right wing troll used a clip of me from years ago out of context to attack immigrants or he didn’t care. It says a lot about him and the downfall of @X under his so-called leadership,” Ms. Clarke said in a post on X.

Ms. Clarke did not immediately respond to a request from The Epoch Times to provide more context for the clip.

‘They Will Come for Your Homes’

Ms. Clarke’s response to Mr. Musk’s post sparked a number of strong reactions online, many critical.

One commenter said she should have provided the missing context for her utterance because “the video seems pretty clear.”

“When you say years ago was that like two years ago because if it was from the start of these illegals coming into USA then what’s your point? You supported this in the beginning, and let me ask you this have you done anything to help the homeless veterans and the locals?” another X user quipped.

“Hope you have a big house,” someone else commented, perhaps in tacit reference to a separate post by Mr. Musk, who reacted critically to news of a school closure in New York City in order to make room for illegal immigrants.

“This is what happens when you run out of hotel rooms. Soon, cities will run out of schools to vacate. Then they will come for your homes,” Mr. Musk wrote.

Citing the danger posed by an incoming storm, Mr. Adams’s office announced that nearly 2,000 people sheltering at Floyd Bennett Field in Brooklyn would be temporarily relocated to James Madison High School out of an “overabundance of caution,” with classes for students shifting to remote instruction.

The decision outraged some parents and officials.

‘We’re Out of Room’

At the beginning of January, the New York City mayor said in a Fox News interview that New York was “being inundated” with illegal immigrants, with roughly 2,500 arriving every week. He said that this number can top 4,000 in some weeks.

Asked what will happen once there’s no more room to accommodate new arrivals, he was quick to note that there’s already no more space.

“We’re not just saying we’re out of room as a sound bite. We’re out of room literally. People are going to be eventually sleeping on the streets,” Mr. Adams said.

Dozens of recently arrived migrants to New York City camp outside of the Roosevelt Hotel, which has been made into a reception center, as they try to secure temporary housing in New York City, on Aug. 1, 2023. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

When asked what it would take to shut the door on new illegal immigrant arrivals, he said his hands are tied.

“I don’t have the authorization to tell people they can’t come into New York City,” Mr. Adams said, noting that the law even prohibits law enforcement from turning over illegal immigrants to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents.

“This is a national problem. It’s unfair for local municipalities and cities to handle this problem.”

He also said he believes that too many illegal immigrants are entering the United States through “various pathways and cavities in our border,” but he didn’t elaborate further.

“We have to be extremely careful because not everyone that’s coming is pursuing the American Dream,” Mr. Adams said.

A recent ICE report revealed that the number of illegal immigrants inside the United States but outside of ICE custody has surpassed six million, marking another grim milestone in the border crisis.

This number has soared to 6.2 million in 2023 from 4.7 million in 2022—a jump of more than 30 percent.

Also, the total number of known illegal southern border crossings has jumped from around 405,000 in 2020 to 2.1 million in 2023.

Republicans have blamed President Joe Biden’s policies for fueling the surge in illegal immigration.

During his first 100 days in office, President Biden took dozens of executive actions on immigration, including ordering a halt to the construction of the border wall.

Many Republicans see illegal border crossings as one of the country’s most pressing issues, while polling shows that for Democrats, it’s of relatively low priority.

Biden administration officials have been reluctant to call the situation along the border a “crisis,” while White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre has accused Republicans of turning the border issue into a “political stunt.”


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