In Rome, Adams Sees a Model for Helping Migrants Assimilate

It didn’t take long for Mayor Eric Adams of New York to articulate what he liked about a welcome center for migrants and asylum seekers that he visited on Sunday in Rocca di Papa, a town about 15 miles outside Rome.

“In two months they’re going from migrant to participating in society,” Mr. Adams said after a 30-minute tour of the center, where migrants from countries including Syria and Sudan are processed, take Italian lessons and receive health care before being sent out for job opportunities.

The mayor, who has called on the federal government to expedite work permits and relocation assistance for migrants, repeated that appeal after visiting the center, which is run by the Red Cross and receives funding from the Italian government. He said he wanted help from the Biden administration to develop something similar in New York, where more than 190,000 migrants have arrived over the last two years.

Mr. Adams’s visit came on the last day of a three-day trip to Rome, where he met Pope Francis at the Vatican and spoke at an international conference on peace. The trip was a brief respite from varied troubles at home — protests over the Israel-Hamas war, a federal investigation into his campaign’s fund-raising, lagging poll numbers and possible challengers in next year’s primary — and Mr. Adams said it had inspired him and given him ideas that he would use in New York.

“The big takeaway for me is the similarities of these cities,” he said.

Mr. Adams met with Victor Fadlun, president of the Jewish Community of Rome, a nonprofit organization, in the city’s Jewish Quarter.Credit…Alessandro Penso for The New York Times

The mayor was received warmly in Rome: On Saturday, his often-used line comparing New York to other cities — in this case, “New York is the Rome of America” — drew applause. On Sunday, a child asked for his autograph.

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