Eric Adams says comment about migrants being ‘excellent swimmers’ based on past conversations with them

New York City Mayor Eric Adams said immigrants could help fill the city’s lifeguard shortage because they are “good swimmers.” He later said his own comments were based on past conversations with immigrants.

Adams was asked about the city’s lifeguard shortage during his weekly news conference Tuesday. He wondered out loud, asking if the city could immediately hire immigrants for the jobs that needed to be filled.

“How do we get so many people into our cities and countryside who are good swimmers but also need lifeguards?” he said. The New York Times reported.

Adams said she visited migrant shelters in the city on Wednesday and asked people if they knew how to swim. He said he was “shocked” by the number of people who said yes.

“We have talented people from West Africa, Ecuador, Central and South America and Mexico who know how to swim, but we don’t have enough lifeguards.” adams saidanswered a question from a reporter.

He said if the city starts planning now, it will be ready for next summer.

Adams’ comments drew criticism from immigration advocates who called them “racist and divisive.” Murad Awaudeh, president of the New York Immigration Coalition, told the Times that Adams’ comments were racist and that the journey immigrants take to reach the United States should not be trivialized. situation.

Almost 200,000 people have arrived in New York City in the past two years. Ever since the influx began, Adams has urged them to work to support themselves.

“This is not new. I’ve said this over and over again: Put people to work,” he said Wednesday.

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