ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10)—State leaders are still waiting for answers from the federal government when it comes to speeding up work authorization for asylum seekers.
“The number one answer to this crisis is work authorization,” Governor Kathy Hochul said on Thursday.
For months, she has been calling on the federal government to speed up the process that allows asylum seekers to get jobs. And she’s not the only one— Senator Chuck Schumer, along with other Democratic New York Congressional members, sent a letter to President Biden in May calling for the 150-day employment authorization waiting period to be eliminated for those who have submitted their asylum applications.
Even local government officials, such as Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan, are calling on the federal government to act
“We need workforce,” said Sheehan. “We want individuals to be able to be successful. We want them to be able to pay taxes, we want them to pay rent. We want them to be able to support themselves and their families, and in order to do that, Washington needs to fix this.”
Despite pleas from New York leaders at all levels of government, a change hasn’t happened
“There are so many jobs we can put people in tomorrow—5,000 farm jobs open right now. We’re approaching the harvesting season. It’s been really hard for farmers, so people want to work. We need the legal status for them to work. Let’s get them the jobs and then they can be independent of needing supportive services in New York City or elsewhere because hopefully, this is very temporary,” said Hochul.”That’s the question I’m still waiting for an answer to. We have not received it, but I think it’s going to change the whole dynamic dramatically.”
Also in May, the New York Farm Bureau issued a statement saying in part, “We support Gov. Hochul’s request to the federal government to expedite work visas for migrants who have been properly processed and who want to work on farms in New York State.”