White House staffers to assist NYC asylum seekers in getting work authorizations

ByDarla Miles and Eyewitness News WABC logo
Thursday, August 31, 2023
White House staffers to assist with NYC migrants getting work per
Mayor Adams and other leaders plan to hold a rally, calling on the federal government to help asylum seekers get access to work permits and education.

NEW YORK (WABC) -- Mayor Eric Adams and other New York City leaders plan to hold a rally Thursday, calling on the federal government to help asylum seekers get access to work permits and education.

Governor Kathy Hochul met with the White House Chief of Staff and Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas for more than two hours on Wednesday to discuss ongoing efforts with the Biden administration regarding asylum seekers. She says it's the first step, but it's "not enough to fully address the crisis."

Starting on Thursday, the White House will be sending out application notifications for people who have applied to come into the country under the CBP app. They believe it will help identify the thousands of individuals in New York who are already eligible, but perhaps have not applied yet for work authorization.

In addition, in the next few weeks, the Department of Homeland Security will come to Manhattan to provide resources so thousands of people can apply for asylum legally, which then will allow them to work legally.

The administration also requested $600 million in additional funds for the Shelter and Services Program in the Supplemental and says they will continue to call on Congress to fulfil that request.

With a new school year kicking off, New York Public Schools will be welcoming thousands of migrant children. They took in about 19,000 this past year, with more arriving every week.

"Since July 2022, nearly 19,000 students have enrolled in our schools in all five boroughs," New York City Schools Chancellor David Banks said.

Helping out with this massive task is "Project Open Arms," a blueprint rolled out last year that is intended to provide help with enrollment, mental health, transportation, and translation services.

"Project Open Arms has been absolutely instrumental of the success we've had to date," said Banks. "Prior to this administration, we lost 120,000 families left the NYC public schools. We have room for the students. Our principals, our superintendents, our school communities have worked extremely well in receiving these young people."

The Department of Education also added 3,400 English as a Second Language and 1,700 bilingual teachers for the school year.

"We work closely with superintendents and principals to identify neighboring schools that have seats and available resource," said Melissa Aviles-Ramos, Chief of Staff of the Chancellor's Office.

More than 2,900 migrants arrived in the city just last week. There is a push underway to move some of them upstate, but the city and state are at odds right now over that.

The rally with Mayor Adams and other city officials begins at 10 a.m. in Foley Square.

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