Now Is the Time To Raise the Alarm: The Democrats Are Coming for Central Park

It’s on a list for an encampment to be used by those who sneaked into the country illegally and are showing up at New York City.

Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images
Mayor Adams on April 18, 2023, at New York City. Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

The Democrats are coming for Central Park, and now is the time to raise the alarm. For it turns out, famously liberal New Yorkers don’t care much for illegal immigrants. They don’t want them in their school gyms and their midtown hotels, neither housed at JFK Airport nor shoved into unused public buildings. Liberals don’t want them at all.

Mayor Adams, who ran against a field of eight Democrats in 2021, joined his rivals in embracing New York’s “sanctuary” status. Each vied to be more welcoming and more generous to undocumented persons arriving in the Big Apple.

That, though, was before President Biden allowed millions of migrants to enter illegally into the country.  That was before mountains of fentanyl had poured across the border, killing tens of thousands of Americans, and before the cartels got super-rich trafficking humans and drugs.      

Above all that was before officials in other states started sending migrants to New York. Now, more than 60,000 illegal immigrants have arrived in the Big Apple, all of whom need housing, food, medical care and schooling for their kids. 

Mr. Adams has no idea where to put them or how to pay for them. But, given the opportunity by a reporter earlier this year to roll up the welcome mat, Adams doubled down, saying that hosting people who are in the country illegally was “morally right.”

Critics think booting American veterans from shelters to make way for those migrants, which the city recently did, is morally wrong. Mr. Adams just tried to send the mostly single and male asylum-seekers upstate, but local communities said they don’t want them and judges have agreed they have no obligation to take them. 

Mr. Adams has begged Mr. Biden for help; he has suggested we need a “national tsar” to deal with the open border crisis, apparently forgetting that Vice President Harris was tapped for that. As Mr. Biden and his team stiff-arm the mayor and turn a blind eye to the border crisis, Hizzoner is stuck.

Just wait, though, until Mr. Adams starts building tents in Central Park, one of the possibilities listed in a planning document reviewed by CNN. That decision could — and should — rouse every New Yorker to tell the mayor: Not in my back yard.

Oh sure, resistance to making the crown jewel of our parks into an encampment for illegal immigrants will be slammed as elitist, since many of the neighborhoods around the park are among the city’s wealthiest. Does anyone really think, though, that the park’s 42 million visitors each year are all well-to-do?

There aren’t that many wealthy people left in New York. They’ve all moved to Florida. The reality is that in dysfunctional, noisy, dirty New York, Central Park offers 843 acres of beautiful, safe, and orderly green spaces, free of charge, for everyone.

It is a much-needed haven and attracts people from all over the five boroughs and indeed the world. The park is a gem because it is mostly privately funded and privately managed. More than forty years ago, a group of women founded the not-for-profit Central Park Conservancy.

They were horrified that the once-beautiful creation of designers Frederick Law Olmstead and Calvert Vaux had fallen into disrepair. The park’s untended grounds were littered with needles and trash, lighting fixtures had been smashed and playing fields had become bare patches of dirt. The place was not only unsightly but also dangerous.

Four decades later, thanks to a monumental effort by thousands of donors — including me — landscapers, gardeners, tree experts and others, the park is magnificent. The monuments, boat pond, lawns, lakes, gardens, benches have been restored; tens of thousands of trees and flowering bushes have been planted.

The Conservancy will raise and spend nearly $100 million this year alone to maintain the park’s facilities and free programs like chess classes, concerts, walking tours, and discovery activities for children. That funding will allow the city’s public Parks & Recreation budget to go elsewhere in the city.  

Building temporary housing for hundreds of adult males would undoubtedly divert crucial maintenance funding and create security issues. There are thousands of children playing in the park every day who benefit from the fresh air and freedom of wide-open spaces. For all New Yorkers, the safety and availability of the park is critically important.

During the pandemic, Central Park was an invaluable outlet for New York families who sought fresh air and diversion from the horrors of the virus. It was also (briefly) the site of a temporary hospital facility set up to treat hundreds of patients from nearby Mt. Sinai. That was an authentic emergency.

The flood of migrants into New York is not; it is a crisis born of Democrats’ reckless devotion to open borders and sanctuary cities. These policies are hurting our nation and our city. This is why millions of New Yorkers will implore Mr. Adams, don’t give up New York’s greatest and most widely-enjoyed acreage.

The New York Sun

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