New York Democrats on Capitol Hill are amping up pressure on the White House, demanding President Joe Biden take steps to help asylum seekers get to work faster.
This week, all New York Democrats in the U.S. House signed onto a new letter to Biden, demanding he grant, on a case-by-case basis, humanitarian parole to migrants who arrived while COVID-era rule Title 42 was on the books.
What You Need To Know
- All New York Democrats in the U.S. House signed a new letter to President Joe Biden this week, demanding he grant humanitarian parole to migrants who arrived while Title 42 was on the books — which could help asylum seekers get work authorization faster
- Advocates argue that expediting work permits would allow migrants to earn money for themselves, thereby reducing the burden on New York, while also helping fill open jobs across the state
- The letter comes as New York continues to grapple with how to help tens of thousands of migrants who have arrived over the last year
- New York Republicans are poised to make migrants an election-year issue in 2024
Reps. Gregory Meeks and Jerry Nadler led the letter, in which they argue that by granting parole, it would enable asylum seekers to get work authorization faster. That process currently can take more than six months.
“We have a finite number of individuals that we’re talking about that’s in this unique circumstance of waiting for a hearing,” Meeks said of the proposal in his letter. “The best thing in the world would be a comprehensive immigration reform, which the Republicans don’t want to engage in that dialogue and conversation.”
Hudson Valley Rep. Pat Ryan, who has previously called for Biden to declare a state of emergency for New York over the migrant surge, put the request in financial terms.
“For the folks that are coming here, the vast majority that want to better their families, let’s allow them to do that and get to work,” he said. “We need workers in our economy in New York, certainly in the Hudson Valley.”
The letter comes as New York continues to grapple with how to house and help tens of thousands of migrants who have arrived over the last year.
New York Republicans are poised to make migrants an election-year issue in 2024.
New York City Mayor Eric Adams and Gov. Kathy Hochul have repeatedly urged the White House for additional help.
And just this week, Brooklyn Congressman Dan Goldman re-upped his push for another potential avenue to expedite work permits: having Biden grant the migrants temporary protective status — a move he said would be a “win-win-win.”
“This is a win for the migrants. This is a win for the cities and local governments who are bearing the burden of providing for them. And it is a win for our economy and the business community,” Goldman said.
In a statement, a White House official touted administrative steps they’ve already taken to help certain groups of immigrants, but they also noted that “none of these Administrative tools are a substitute for Congressional action.”
“We need Congress to act. Only they can reform and modernize our decades-old immigration laws,” the official said.