Eric Adams Says Illegal Migrants Could Help NYC Lifeguard Shortage: ‘They’re Excellent Swimmers’

New York City Mayor Eric Adams. Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

OAN’s Brooke Mallory
4:26 PM – Tuesday, May 14, 2024

On Tuesday, Mayor Eric Adams proposed hiring illegal immigrants to make up for the city’s lack of lifeguards, citing their “excellent” swimming abilities.

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Before Memorial Day, Adams (D-N.Y.) made the statement in response to a question concerning lifeguard manning at the city’s beaches and pools, which have seen an increase in problems and shortages in recent years.

The question was posed at a City Hall briefing.

Adams, deviating from the topic at hand, suggested that the lack of lifeguards could be resolved with ease if migrant work permits were granted more rapidly for positions that need filling.

“How do we have a large body of people that are in our city, our country, that are excellent swimmers, and at the same time we need lifeguards—and the only obstacle is that we won’t give them the right to work to become a lifeguard?” Adams asserted. “That just doesn’t make sense.”

Every day, a large number of illegals attempt to enter the U.S. by wading across the Rio Grande at the U.S.-Mexico border. This uncontrollable scenario has resulted in an influx of foreigners in New York City without jobs who are in need of food, shelter, medical attention, and more, which they expect to receive for free in the U.S.

“Adams also rattled off a slew of other jobs that could be filled if the red tape were cut and work permits were sped up for skilled migrants,” the New York Post reported.

Adams then suggested what could be a brand-new strategy for the city and its “migrant issue.”

“If we had a plan that said, ‘If there was a shortage of food service workers and those who fit that criteria, we’re going to expedite you,’ if you have experience that you are a nurse and we have a nursing shortage, we would expedite you,” Adams stated.

“It’s the same for lifeguards. We have all these eligible people waiting to work, with the skills we need to do the jobs, but we are unable to allow them to work because bureaucracy is in the way.”

Although Adams has already previously called for illegal immigrants to fill lifeguard jobs throughout the city, the mayor had not previously highlighted their “excellent” ability to swim.

In response to questions about the current shortage, deputy mayor for operations, Meera Joshi, stated that 560 new lifeguards had successfully completed the “rigorous” testing requirements for posts before the summer of this year. 364 applications passed last year, in contrast.

Over the past few years, the Adams administration has made an effort to hire more lifeguards, increasing compensation to $22 per hour and providing $1,000 in bonuses for those who work through the busiest time of year.

Staffing the city’s fourteen miles of public pools and beaches requires about 1,500 people.

“This is not a new comment from the mayor,” said a City Hall representative. “He’s repeatedly made the point that there are people who are qualified for jobs where we have vacancies, they are prepared to do the job, and yet the federal government continues to deny them the legal right to work.”

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