The Biden administration’s temporary assistance to New York City to address the influx of asylum seekers has ended after just two weeks.
Initially, the federal government had pledged its support to help the city navigate the immense paperwork associated with these asylum cases. New York officials, including Governor Kathy Hochul and Mayor Eric Adams, warmly welcomed this commitment.
City leaders anticipated that this federal aid would be crucial in reducing the bureaucratic burden of managing tens of thousands of asylum applications. Upon its establishment, the federal “pop-up” office located in Lower Manhattan actively processed migrant paperwork for a fortnight.
The office successfully processed 1,700 out of approximately 2,100 work authorizations during its operation.
However, after the federal team’s departure, New York City has managed to file only about 400 work applications for the 65,000 migrants in their care.
The temporary nature of the federal aid surprised many, including those within the city government. A city government official told the New York Post, “I’m very surprised. I thought they were in it for the long haul.”
City and state leaders had previously highlighted the deployment of federal workers by the Biden Administration as a significant response to their requests for assistance following the influx of over 130,000 migrants into the city.
Both Mayor Adams and Governor Hochul had previously highlighted the deployment of federal workers by the Biden Administration as a significant response to their requests for assistance following the influx of over 130,000 migrants into the city.
In her August announcement, Hochul mentioned that the Biden administration was “surging” staff to address the crisis. However, there was no indication that this surge would be short-lived.
Hochul expressed at the time, “I don’t know the number yet, but people who work for Homeland Security (DHS) will literally show up in Manhattan and make themselves available to help us start processing thousands of people so they can apply for asylum legally.”
Last week, after her second meeting at the White House, Hochul sought additional assistance from the DHS. However, she did not address that the federal workers had already left New York City.
On Friday morning, Mayor Adams also requested further support from the federal government without referencing the recent departure of their personnel.
In the aftermath of the federal team’s departure, Mayor Adams and other officials are once again in a position of seeking help. City Hall, in a statement, positively acknowledged the previous collaboration experience. Adams’ spokeswoman, Kayla Mamelak, said, “[It’s] a model for how we can work together across levels of government to tackle this national crisis, and we appreciate our partners for their collaboration.”