New York Governor Kathy Hochul delivered a public speech on Thursday urging the White House to take decisive executive actions to address the ongoing issue of illegal migration.
During her address, Hochul highlighted the importance of integrating migrants into New York City through employment and housing initiatives. She formally called upon President Biden’s administration to make substantial investments aimed at assisting and settling the communities of those seeking asylum.
“I am acutely aware that New Yorkers have expressed concerns about the arrival of over 100,000 asylum seekers in our state over the past year, necessitating an unprecedented humanitarian response,” Hochul stated. “A short while ago, I dispatched a letter to the Biden administration, formally urging them to utilize executive measures to tackle the migrant crisis in New York.”
Hochul went on to elaborate, “Our consistent stance has been to allow them to work and contribute financially. This is why today, I have formally requested immediate executive actions in four vital domains. Firstly, streamlined work authorization to swiftly transition individuals from shelters into jobs. Additionally, federal support for housing, educational institutions, healthcare, legal services, as well as the necessary infrastructure and accommodation for these asylum seekers.”
The governor acknowledged that the migrant crisis “originated under federal government purview” and consequently needs to be resolved through federal action. However, she argued that the state’s “numerous vacant job positions” provided an excellent opportunity to integrate those crossing the border.
“We stand ready to take action as soon as these migrants are permitted to work. Recognizing the considerable wait time, our State Department of Labor will launch a new initiative this coming September to place asylum seekers in jobs as soon as their legal authorization for work is granted,” Hochul revealed. “Moreover, we are taking an extra step. I am instructing the Department of Labor to proactively connect asylum seekers with potential employers in anticipation of them obtaining work authorization.”
Hochul attributed the influx of undocumented immigrants to the actions of Texas Governor Greg Abbott, who has been transporting migrants to Democratic-controlled cities across the nation as a response to the border crisis.
“It all began at our nation’s southern border when Texas Governor Greg Abbott made the reprehensible decision to bus migrants and ship them out for his own political gain, treating these individuals as mere pawns,” Hochul criticized. “Since that time, the state has dedicated significant resources to support the commendable efforts of New York City in providing shelter and aid to nearly 100,000 migrants who have already arrived here.”
The governor drew a parallel between the migrants and her own Irish grandfather, who arrived in the U.S., worked as a laborer on a farm, and built a new life. She asserted that New York has consistently been a primary destination for immigrants seeking a fresh start in the country.
Hochul also acknowledged New York City’s unique legal obligation, established in 1981, which mandates the city to offer shelter to anyone seeking it. She reassured the public that this special status would not be extended to or impact other counties within the state.
Earlier this month, Hochul critiqued New York City Mayor Eric Adams’ response to the migrant crisis through a detailed 12-page letter sent to the mayor’s office. In the letter, her attorney, Faith E. Gay, accused the city of being slow to request timely regulatory changes or notify the state of crucial decisions.