New York Gov. Kathy Hochul is considering issuing work authorization for asylum seekers in the state as the migrant crisis worsens.
More than 113,000 asylum seekers are in New York City, including 3,200 in the last week. Fifty-nine thousand migrants are living in many of New York’s shelters. The process to obtain a work permit has, in the past, been a lengthy process, but Hochul has been working to expedite the operation by including a state-level worker permit program.
“This would be unprecedented and I believe the federal government would believe that we will need their authority to move forward with state work permits but, as I said, we have to let them work,” Hochul said during a press conference.
Hochul added, “After 180 days people are legally able to work in our state. We have asked to speed up that timeframe. A hundred days is still a long time but let’s start getting people processed then get their work authorization.”
New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) is asking President Biden to grant migrants parole or Temporary Protected Status (TPS), so they can apply for work permits more quickly.— Camilo Montoya-Galvez (@camiloreports) August 24, 2023
But as I reported this week, the Biden administration is reluctant to do so due to legal and border concerns. https://t.co/cvYSjMYOgb pic.twitter.com/DSz83XrnfT
Tuesday, the White House announced that the National Park Service was gearing up to lease former naval air station Floyd Bennett Field in southeast Brooklyn to shelter migrants.
The Legal Aid Society and the Coalition for the Homeless released a statement as the lease signing nears.
“We hope is the start of a more meaningful commitment to provide the City with funding, staffing, facilities, coordination and more to avoid another nightmarish scenario where people are relegated to the streets and exposed to the elements,” the organizations wrote.
On Wednesday, the White House sent a team of federal staffers as interpreters and support staff to assist asylum seekers in obtaining the work permits they need to start looking for jobs.
New York Mayor Eric Adams says the city is having difficulty coping with the thousands of migrants sleeping on its streets and inside its shelter.
“Never in my life have I had a problem that I did not see an ending to. I don’t see an ending to this. This issue will destroy New York City,” said Adams.