Governor Hochul Announces New State Efforts to Address Asylum Seeker and Migrant Crisis Following Federal Extension of Temporary Protected Status

Governor Hochul Announces New State Efforts to Address Asylum Seeker and Migrant Crisis Following Federal Extension of Temporary Protected Status

White House Announces New Steps on Work Authorization for Eligible Individuals Following Conversation Between President Biden and Governor Hochul

New York State Department of Labor Will Connect Work-Eligible Asylum Seekers and Migrants with Employers Looking for Workers

State Has Allocated More Than $30 Million To Help Migrants File Paperwork to Receive Work Authorization

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Governor Kathy Hochul today announced new state efforts to address the asylum seeker and migrant crisis in New York, after White House officials announced certain individuals from Venezuela, who have continuously resided in the United States on or before July 31, 2023, will be eligible to apply for Temporary Protected Status. This announcement follows more than a year of advocacy from Governor Hochul and a broad coalition of New Yorkers working to secure work authorization for asylum seekers and migrants, allowing them to exit the shelter system and begin living independently.

“Work authorization is the way out of the migrant crisis,” Governor Hochul said. “Individuals who achieve legal work status will be able to exit the shelter system, find work opportunities and get their shot at the American Dream. This announcement from the White House is a critical step, putting these individuals on the path to legal status that comes with work authorization. President Biden has once again delivered for New Yorkers, and we’re grateful to Majority Leader Schumer, Leader Jeffries, Senator Gillibrand, Mayor Adams, Democratic members of the New York Congressional Delegation, and business and labor leaders who supported this effort.”

Earlier tonight, President Biden, Secretary Mayorkas and the Department of Homeland Security announced the redesignation of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for certain individuals from Venezuela. Under federal law, individuals subject to TPS can be legally authorized to work 30 days after filing their application while other new arrivals are subject to a 180-day waiting period. While waiting 180 days for legal work status, asylum seekers and migrants are unable to earn a paycheck or pay rent, leading to extended stays in publicly-funded shelters or hotels.

Governor Hochul has directed the New York State Department of Labor to connect employers with newly-eligible asylum seekers and migrants who on the path to receiving work authorizations. More than 70 state personnel, representing 16 separate State agencies, have been surged to assist in this work authorization effort. Last month, the Governor announced the Department had launched a new portal enabling businesses to inform the State that they would welcome newly-authorized individuals into their workforce. The Department also created a new registration process where asylum seekers and migrants with work authorization can register for assistance. Officials from the New York State Department of Labor and the United States Department of Labor will meet in the coming days to discuss opportunities for partnership and growth.

At Governor Hochul’s direction, New York State is ready to help Venezuelans and other asylum seekers and migrants submit the appropriate paperwork to speedily receive legal work status. Working in partnership with federal and City officials, New York is in the midst of a “Month of Action” where more than 50 personnel from the federal Department of Homeland Security are in New York working to process work authorization paperwork. This builds on an additional $20 million allocated to help New York City with a casework surge through NYC Health + Hospitals, as well as $10 million for migrant legal services allocated in the FY24 Budget.

Governor Hochul has identified work authorization as the key factor to end this crisis. She raised this issue with senior Administration officials during her meeting at the White House three weeks ago, reiterating a request she made in a letter to President Biden earlier that month. The Governor has supported New York City throughout this crisis, including committing more than $1.7 billion in State funding beginning with the FY24 Budget, deploying more than 2,000 members of the National Guard, and mobilizing State-owned land to be used as Humanitarian Emergency Relief and Response Centers.

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