Gov. Kathy Hochul said that the Biden administration’s announcement that it was granting Temporary Protective Status to — and expediting work permits for — hundreds of thousands of Venezuelans who are already in the country is “an important first step” for her goal to get expedited work status for all migrants.
In an interview with NY1’s Cheryl Wills Wednesday evening, Hochul said she, Mayor Eric Adams, Sens. Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, and the New York delegation had been pushing to expedite permits for migrants as far back as last summer.
"We have all been working so hard to persuade the White House that these individuals who came to this country and are living in New York City shelters don't have to. They came here to work," she said.
The governor said expanding Temporary Protective Status to migrants allows them to work within 30 days instead of within 180 days, and would also enable the state to clear out shelters.
"And also serves the purpose of meeting this demand from Republicans in every corner in New York for more workers. So this is an important step," she added.
Hochul said the state is committed to work with Adams "to ensure these people are connected to jobs as soon as they're able to work."
“We have to have more workers, and this is going to be a very, very positive development for our state's economy, for these individuals and our desire to start not opening more shelters, but starting to shut down shelters,” she added.
Hochul pointed out that the federal government’s order only applies to migrants who arrived before July 31.
She said that New York is “at capacity” and suggested that any migrants who arrived after that date, or continue to arrive, look to settle elsewhere.
"We have to let people know that if you're thinking of coming to New York, we are truly out of space," she said. “The mayor has done an extraordinary job managing this crisis situation. We have been partners in helping him, but there must be other cities that do not have upwards of 125,000 people, over 60,000 in shelters, that can handle the volume easier in other states.”
Hochul also announced new state efforts to address the asylum seeker and migrant influx in the state.
She directed the New York State Department of Labor to connect employers to newly eligible asylum seekers who are in the process of receiving work authorizations, according to a press release issued Wednesday night.
The state Department of Labor also created a new process for migrants with work authorization to register for assistance, the release said.