The United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has secured an office in Lower Manhattan to facilitate the application process for migrant work permits in response to the ongoing influx of asylum seekers crossing the southern border.
Located at 25 Beaver St., the fifth floor of the building will serve as a processing center, with measures such as designated elevators have been implemented to ensure smooth operations without disruptions to other tenants.
City Hall confirmed that federal officials will use this space to process work visas and staff from Mayor Eric Adams’ “Asylum Application Help Center” will also be stationed there to provide necessary support.
“We are grateful to the federal government for committing to a Month of Action on asylum seekers,” commented Avi Small, a spokesman for Governor Kathy Hochul, emphasizing the state’s commitment to collaborating with federal and city leaders to address the ongoing migrant situation.
The decision to accelerate the process for migrants seeking work permits comes following an announcement by the White House and DHS to expand Temporary Protected Status, enabling a larger number of Venezuelan migrants fleeing their economically distressed homeland to qualify for work permits in the U.S.
Hochul and Adams have previously appealed to President Joe Biden to ease the extensive 180-day wait time for asylum seekers to secure work permits, aiming to assist them in self-sustenance and alleviate the strain on New York City’s overloaded shelter system.
Mayor Adams, in a recent interview, said, “I’m hoping we can expand it because it will solve two problems: Number one, we have a great deal of jobs that we need to fill, and number two, we will be able to have those workers fill these jobs that we need.”
Adams also addressed the challenges New York City is facing due to the overwhelming number of migrants. He emphasized the financial implications, saying, “This is going to be extremely devastating for our city.”
The cost for New York City to support the influx of migrants could surpass $12 billion by July 2025. Addressing this, Adams has asked city agencies for 5% cuts next month and 15% by next spring unless substantial federal or state reimbursements offset the rising migrant care costs.