Adams ‘Excellent Swimmers’ Comment is Racist and Divisive, and He Owes NYers an Apology

New York, NY—Yesterday, NYC Mayor Eric Adams said in his weekly press briefing that asylum seekers are “excellent swimmers” and should become lifeguards in New York City.

Murad Awawdeh, President and CEO, New York Immigration Coalition:

“New Yorkers are looking to Mayor Eric Adams to unite our City, not foment more division. His comments on asylum seekers being ‘excellent swimmers’ implies that because some immigrants had to swim or wade across water on their dangerous journeys to seek safety in the United States, that they would make good lifeguards. This comment is racist, and the Mayor should not be making light of the perilous and often life-threatening journeys people are forced to make to escape violence and persecution. It’s demeaning and dehumanizing. The Mayor has made clear how much he hates the ‘word police,’ but he wouldn’t need to worry about that if he would simply stop making nonsensical or racist statements on a range of topics including 9/11 and asylum seekers. Mayor Adams should start reigning in some of the divisive and inappropriate language he uses and apologize to New Yorkers for this completely unwarranted and out of line comment.”