Adams, Hochul call on White House for expedited work authorizaton for NYC asylum seekers

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Monday, May 22, 2023
NY officials call for expedited work authorization for asylum seekers
Mayor Eric Adams and Governor Kathy Hochul are calling for expedited work authorization for the asylum seekers coming to New York City.

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- Mayor Eric Adams and Governor Kathy Hochul are calling on the White House to expedite work authorization for the thousands of asylum seekers in New York City.

Adams and Hochul were at Industry City Monday morning looking to fill open jobs with the more than 70,000 asylum seekers who have arrived in the city so far. That's including the 5,800 migrants who arrived last week alone.

The governor said thousands of jobs need to be filled during a historic labor shortage, like 5,000 farm jobs and 5,000 food service jobs.

The current work authorization process leaves migrants in limbo for 180 days after legally filing for asylum unable to legally work, a process Hochul said needs to be changed.

"That's not working, that's not a solution," Hochul said. "They're ready to work, they're willing to work, and they're not able to work."

The Governor said the narrative that this plan will take jobs away from other people is false.

Mayor Eric Adams and Governor Kathy Hochul are calling for expedited work authorization for the asylum seekers coming to New York City.

"Those that come here, come here for one reason only and that is to participate in the American dream," Adams said. "That dream should not become a nightmare when they hit our shores."

Last month, the Adams administration said the federal government could expedite work authorization a few different ways.

He said they could allow a higher number of asylum seekers to access TPS protection by extending its eligibility period or they could provide access to humanitarian parole.

Meanwhile, Adams said the federal aid provided by the Biden administration doesn't come close to the hefty bill this crisis is costing New York City.

"We've spent over $1 billion. We're projected to spend close to $4.3 billion, if not more. When you look at the price tag, $30 million comes nowhere near what this city is paying for a national problem," said Mayor Adams.

The Mayor's Office says the city is using more than 150 hotels to shelter more than 41,000 asylum seekers. That is over 40 percent of hotels with 51-200 units.

U.S. Military and asylum seekers now occupy Long Island City's Holiday Inn - LaGuardia West. Travelers with reservations - like Sean Cullen, are no longer welcome.

"When checking in, was greeted with staff in tears, National Guard in the room and advised it's no longer a hotel, but a government building," Cullen said.

What was supposed to be a relaxing trip quickly turned into a travel nightmare. Cullen flew all the way from Minnesota to find a note on the door. The note read, 'Due to unforeseen circumstances at our property, we are not able to accommodate your reservation.'

The note says it was dated May 15 - a day before his arrival. Cullen says there was no heads-up or warning.

"It was awful, awful for me, awful for my guests who flew from Australia 38 hours to sit in a lobby for seven hours - and no action from IHG," he added.

Cullen says he booked his room online through Intercontinental Hotels Group or 'IHG' two weeks in advance, not realizing he would be booted because of a crisis - one that is costing the city much more than what it is getting aid from the Biden Administration, Mayor Adams said on Sunday.

One can't help but wonder what the impact on summer tourism will be on a city that so heavily relies on it.

IHG did eventually find Cullen another hotel, but he says it was more expensive.

Eyewitness News reached out to IHG and the Mayor's Office for comment, but have not heard back.

"Now my impression of NYC is that hotel and that experience," Cullen adds.

Cullen urges travelers to call ahead and to call the hotel directly to make sure the room is still available.

Meanwhile, Mayor Adams again on Sunday is calling on the federal government to ensure incoming asylum seekers are moved throughout the country, so it is not a burden on any one city.

WATCH: NYC officials call on White House for help with migrant placement

Brooklyn Borough President Anthony Reynoso and other NYC officials call on White House and state officials to address the influx of migrants.


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