Hochul seeks work authorizations, more federal aid to support and shelter asylum seekers

Posted 24 August 2023 at 9:14 pm

Press Release, Gov, Kathy Hochul’s Office

Gov. Kathy Hochul

Governor Kathy Hochul today called on President Biden to take executive action and direct additional federal resources to the State of New York as it manages the unprecedented influx of asylum seekers arriving in New York.

In a formal request sent to the White House this morning, Governor Hochul outlined specific, outstanding requests, including expedited work authorizations for asylum seekers, financial assistance for New York City and New York State, the use of federal land and facilities for temporary shelter sites, and Title 32 designation to provide federal funding for the nearly 2,000 New York National Guard members currently providing logistical and operational support across the State.

“For over a year, I have called for federal assistance and support for New York as we manage the unprecedented number of asylum seekers arriving in our state,” Governor Hochul said. “New York cannot continue to do this on its own. It is past time for President Biden to take action and provide New York with the aid needed to continue managing this ongoing crisis.”

Governor Hochul also announced a program that will greatly expand the State’s ability to help asylum seekers quickly gain lawful employment. Governor Hochul directed the New York State Department of Labor (DOL) to help connect asylum seekers to employment opportunities so they can begin working immediately after obtaining federal work authorization.

All asylum seekers with work authorization in New York can now register for assistance here. DOL career experts will work with individuals to assess skills, work history, education, career interests and more, and connect them with employers across the State. Additionally, the New York State Department of Labor launched a portal enabling businesses to inform the State that they would welcome newly-authorized individuals into their workforce.

Today’s actions are Governor Hochul’s latest efforts to address the arrival of asylum seekers and migrants in New York. Earlier this week, Governor Hochul announced a $20 million investment to help expedite the casework filing process for more than 30,000 asylum seekers. This investment builds on the $1.5 billion the State already committed to support New York City by providing funding for health care, shelter costs, National Guard personnel, legal services, and voluntary relocation programs. The State has also loaned New York City sites to use as temporary shelters which currently house more than 2,000 asylum seekers every day.

Congressman Joe Morelle of Rochester said, “I am grateful to Governor Hochul for her leadership in dealing with the large number of asylum seekers in New York State. I believe strongly in work requirements for all who seek asylum in the United States and am proud to partner with the Governor on common sense changes to asylum rules. I will continue to push for federal aid to ensure asylees can support their families and live independently.”

Heather Mulligan, President & CEO of the Business Council of New York State, said, “Businesses across New York are looking for workers, and that’s why The Business Council of New York State supports Governor Hochul’s call for federal aid to address this crisis. We have workers ready to work and employers ready to hire them — as long as the work authorization arrives. We appreciate the Governor’s commitment to boosting jobs and economic growth.”

Robert Duffy, President and CEO of the Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce, said, “Economic growth requires a strong and talented workforce, an area of need for Greater Rochester and communities around the state and nation. We encourage the federal government to grant work authorization to the thousands of asylum seekers who are eager to work, and we stand ready to help these hard-working men and women get placed into jobs once they are eligible. We thank Governor Hochul for her strong leadership on this issue and we join and support her call for federal support that will help catalyze our region’s success.”

There are jobs and opportunities in New York for people who can legally work, and with federal support, we can make this a reality for asylum seekers.”