Mayor Eric Adams is urging the Biden administration to expedite the process of granting work permits for the large number of migrants that have arrived in the city since last year.
During a gathering in Lower Manhattan’s Foley Square, attended by approximately 200 people, Mayor Adams asserted, “Let them work! Give them the opportunity to contribute to our society.”
He added, “We’re saying we must expedite work visas. It’s just common sense. Thousands of jobs are available to be filled.”
The mayor further drew a connection between the aspirations of these migrants and the broader American ethos, stating, “That dream of working hard to build a better life… is rooted in a dream we call the American dream, no matter where you come from.”
The rally followed a recent visit by Governor Kathy Hochul to the White House, where she sought federal assistance on the same migrant issue. After a nearly three-hour meeting with President Joe Biden’s chief of staff, Jeff Zients, it was revealed that a national campaign will be launched in September.
This initiative will educate migrants who have received clearance to work on the process of obtaining legal employment.
Following the meeting, a statement stated, “The administration officials and the governor reiterated their commitment to continuing these conversations…and are calling on Congress to adequately resource programs to support communities receiving migrants and to pass immigration reform.”
In addition to the mayor, City Council leaders have endorsed the idea of federal work permits for these migrants, emphasizing the value they can add to the city’s economy.
Since last spring, over 110,000 migrants have arrived in New York, yet the federal government has offered limited financial aid and hasn’t fast-tracked work documents.
Many migrants, in anticipation of their asylum decisions, are seeking employment through platforms like WhatsApp and Facebook for roles in housekeeping, construction, and food delivery.
State and city officials, who are bearing the costs for migrant accommodations and services, are advocating for their legal employment, aiming to reduce expenses for taxpayers.
However, the city’s approach to the migrant situation has faced criticism, notably in Staten Island, where the transformation of a former Catholic school into an emergency shelter has reignited discussions about Staten Island separating from the other New York City boroughs.
At a meeting of Republican state senators in Nassau County, Senator Jack Martins stated that Mayor Adams should “ask President Biden to seal the border.” He said, “We refuse to mop up their mess.”