To increase aid for the surge of migrants arriving in New York, Gov. Kathy Hochul urged the White House to expedite work permits and increase federal aid, Politico reports. In a live-streamed address from the state Capitol, the Democratic governor sought to redouble her efforts to address the 100,000 asylum-seekers who have come to New York City over the past year as polls show voters have disapproved of her responses. Hochul took to the podium to pressure the Biden administration to provide more financial assistance and announced two new Department of Labor programs that will assist employers looking to hire migrants and migrants looking for jobs after obtaining work authorization. “This crisis originated with the federal government, and it must be resolved with the federal government,” Hochul said, highlighting a letter she wrote Thursday to President Biden. The address shows the deepening divide among Democrats as the influx of migrants shows no signs of decreasing, straining services in New York and presenting a political liability for the party heading into the 2024 elections.
Hochul reiterated calls for an expedited work authorization process, a message that she and New York City Mayor Eric Adams have stressed repeatedly to Biden. White House officials have blamed Congress for not changing immigration policy. “For me, the answer to these two crises — a humanitarian crisis and our workforce crisis — is so crystal clear and common sense. Let them get the work authorizations; let them work; legally, let them work,” Hochul said. Many asylum-seekers placed outside the city have struggled to find work, and when they do, they are often exploited with wage theft, inadequate work conditions, and threats of deportation from employers if they complain. The goal of the two new initiatives by the state Department of Labor is to create a system in which when migrants obtain work authorization, they would be able to be quickly linked with an employer looking for help. Hochul said there are roughly 460,000 job openings in New York as of June, which would be more than enough for every migrant job seeker. “I am confident that if the federal government steps up and does its part, we will see this crisis through as New Yorkers,” Hochul said.