Gov. Kathy Hochul said Tuesday she is continuing to urge the federal government to give migrants Temporary Protected Status so they can fill numerous job openings across the state.
"I can't tell you how many people have said to me, 'I need them in my North Country Lake Placid hotel, a restaurant over in Syracuse, a nursing home on Long Island,'" Hochul, a Democrat, told host Errol Louis on "Inside City Hall." "There are so many jobs that they could be absorbed into our economy so easily."
The protected status allows immigrants from certain countries an opportunity to remain in the U.S. and work because conditions in their home countries are unsafe.
Hochul said she is having daily conversations with the White House and has asked federal officials to identify any federal property that could be used to house migrants. In response, a five-person federal assessment team has been tasked to work with city and state officials to find shelter solutions.
"We're trying to do large-scale properties that we will pick up the costs for and it is far more expensive than anyone had imagined," Hochul said. "This is on top of the $1 billion commitment that I worked on with the legislature. I have a feeling we're gonna need another $1 billion next year."
Hochul added that supplemental federal dollars to help New York deal with the influx of migrants arriving in the city is being requested.
"This is what I learned [Monday]. We'll see whether that materializes, and we need the Republicans to get on board with that," Hochul said.
The governor called the surge of city migrants a "federal problem," but said she and New York City Mayor Eric Adams are "joined together in solving this."
"We've got a real challenge on our hands and we do not want to have people having to be in the streets of New York," Hochul said. "I literally sat down with the mayor once again this morning. Talked to him last night."
During Tuesday's interview, Hochul touched on the Penn Station redevelopment plan, which will now rely on federal and state funding instead of real estate revenue from new skyscrapers.
"We're having a break. The past is the past," Hochul said. "We're going forward with focusing on making that station something we're all so proud of."
Hochul also addressed a $200 million plan to revitalize the Kingsbridge Armory that she and Adams announced Tuesday. She said the decommissioned armory could be used for manufacturing, film production and urban farming, but not housing.
"Thousands of jobs can be created right there," Hochul said. "And they will be built with union work. And we're looking for people to use community partners to do the work themselves. And so I think it's very exciting and long overdue."