NY Leaders Want to Expedite Work Permits for Asylum-Seekers

Anne Spollen

It can take up to six months to process the paperwork for a work visaPhoto byScott GrahamonUnsplash

New York's leaders are calling on the Biden administration to expedite work authorization for the tens of thousands of migrants who have arrived in their state over the past few months.

On Monday, Governor Hochul teamed with New York City Mayor Eric Adams for a press briefing, where the pair called on Biden to use his presidential powers to speed up the process of authorizing work permits for migrants.

In remarks live-streamed from New York City, Hochul said,“We’re spending a lot of money, we’re doing what we can, but we need this help from Washington.”

“People come here, they’re desperate, they’re trying to get on their feet, and they don’t know the language,” the governor said. “They’re ready to work, they’re willing to work, but they’re not able to work.”

New York state currently has more than 5,000 vacant farming jobs in upstate New York, along with another 5,000 food service jobs and thousands of janitorial jobs that the new arrivals could fill if work authorization were expedited. But more immigration judges are needed to process the applications.

“We don’t have enough judges in the state of New York,” Hochul said. “Give us the support we need so they can start filling out the asylum process.”

New York City has taken in more than 60,000 asylum seekers and spent $1 billion to provide housing, food, and other assistance, with the costs expected to skyrocket to $4 billion by next year. Hundreds of migrants are currently sheltered in hotels at the cost of New York state taxpayers.

Mayor Adams said the delays in obtaining legitimate work for the migrants may prove sinister. During Monday's briefing, he said, “It is creating an underground market, where individuals can be exploited, unable to pay into our tax base, working long hours and dangerous jobs, because they are living in the shadows of the American dream. It increases the risk that they can be abused.”

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Native Staten Islander, writer following the migrant crisis, urban issues, lifestyle topics, human interest, current events, and stories that resonate. Published novelist and essayist.

Staten Island, NY

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