NEW YORK CITY — As left-wing Mayor Bill de Blasio designates millions of dollars of taxpayer money to pay the lawyer fees of illegal immigrants, New York’s failing subway system is falling into greater disrepair — with a state of emergency being declared by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, and one straphanger spotting that her subway train was being held together with a zip tie.
De Blasio earmarked $16 million in his budget proposal in April to pay the legal fees of people in the Big Apple illegally — part of a broader push from de Blasio to remove any serious distinction between legal and illegal immigrants.
Yet that budget, to be finalized this week, comes as the city’s commuters are struggling more than ever. Horror stories of delayed trains and commuters being stuck in carriages for hours are becoming daily fare in New York news outlets. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo declared a state of emergency Thursday after a train partially derailed this week, injuring commuters. Cuomo pledged more money and reforms to help fix the crumbling system.
Also this week, a commuter spotted that their subway carriage was held together by zip ties.
— MsJaya_B (@MsJaya_B) June 28, 2017
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority told the New York Post that it was only a temporary measure while a special part was being made — making the dubious claim that they are “100 percent safe.”
“The ties are a back-up way of securing a cable on the subway car. It’s used in conjunction with other fasteners,” a spokeswoman told the Post. “It’s 100 percent safe and only used on some cars on the #7 line. We have a specially designed bracket that is being engineered and is set to be installed in the next few weeks.”
New York City only contributes a relatively small amount of funding to the MTA — with much of its budget being handled by New York State, under Cuomo. But advocates for better NYC transport have argued that the city is not contributing as much as it should.
“New York City’s contribution to the MTA’s capital plan has not kept pace with inflation. If it had, the City would have contributed $363 million in 2014. Instead, it has contributed an average amount of only $100 million each year since 2000,” the Tri-State Transportation Campaign argues on its website.
And Cuomo himself has called on de Blasio to up the city’s spending as the two Democrats have been publicly squabbling about who is responsible for the subway’s woes.
“The governor stepped up with unprecedented funding,” a Cuomo spokeswoman told the New York Times, “and it’d be the responsible thing for other elected leaders to do the same.”
“It is not the time for the city to go into new means of spending that are state responsibility,” de Blasio huffed at a press conference in response.
Yet de Blasio has shown a very generous spirit to those here illegally. Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs Commissioner Nisha Agarwal told the New York Daily News in April that the $16 million fund for illegals would enable the city to help illegal immigrants facing deportation.
“What we are looking at is the more than 8,000 people who are facing deportation as of 2017 numbers, and what we want to do with our dollars is maximize helping as many of those folks prevent deportation as we can,” Agarwal said.
It isn’t the only risk de Blasio is taking with the city’s finances for illegal immigrants. The city could lose $4.3 million in federal funding due to its insistence on being a so-called “sanctuary city.”
When compared to the MTA’s budget, which reportedly has $9 billion earmarked over the next five years, that $16 million is undoubtedly just a drop in the ocean — but if that money was spent on subways instead of lawyers for illegals, it might just mean that fewer New Yorkers have their carriages held together by zip ties.
Adam Shaw is a politics reporter for Breitbart News based in New York. Follow Adam on Twitter: @AdamShawNY