New York City Comptroller Brad Lander has been accused by political opponents and critics of using the city’s migrant crisis to raise campaign funds for his re-election campaign in 2025.
According to The NY Post, the allegations stem from an email Lander sent out that spoke positively of New York City and how it assists asylum-seeking migrants. The email contains a link that directs readers to a website on which donations can be made to assist with the migrant crisis. However, in the same email, after Comptroller Lander has signed off there is a link, marked “contribute” in big, eye-catching letters. This link directs the reader to a platform in which one can make a contribution to Lander’s re-election campaign.
“Make a contribution to Brad Lander’s campaign. Team Lander relies on grassroots donors like you to power our organizing efforts. We are working hard to ensure we have the infrastructure for the progressive fights ahead,” the page says. Willing donors may donate from $25 up to $1,000. There is also the option to either make a one-time contribution or make monthly payments.
The manner in which the email is set up, touching on the subject of migrants and then providing two links for donations, has made critics claim Lander is exploiting the issue of migrants to confuse people to donate to his cause. That is one of the accusations that was made by Council member Robert Holden.
“Brad is Pander Lander. He’s exploiting the migrant crisis. He’s soliciting campaign contributions on the back of migrants. It’s disgusting and disgraceful,” Holden said.
“That’s done on purpose. It’s virtue signaling, ‘Help the migrants. By the way, give me money.’ He’s pickpocket Lander,” Holden said, referring to the links for contributions being in the same campaign email.
New York City has welcomed thousands of asylum-seeking migrants in the past year. According to city data, about 32,000 migrants are currently under the care of the city. Mayor Eric Adams and Comptroller Lander have both called for the federal government to provide financial support. Lander recently pointed out that the city’s approach to the migrant crisis was not financially sustainable. Projections show the city will end up spending over $4.2 billion on the crisis by the end of the next fiscal year.