New York City business leaders urged Congress and the Biden administration to provide more money to deal with a flood of 100,000 asylum seekers straining local coffers.
(Bloomberg) — New York City business leaders urged Congress and the Biden administration to provide more money to deal with a flood of 100,000 asylum seekers straining local coffers.
“The situation is overwhelming the resources not only of the border region but of city and state governments across the nation,” the Partnership for New York City wrote in an open letter to President Joe Biden and congressional leaders Tuesday.
The cost for sheltering and care of the migrants could exceed $12 billion by July 2025, jeopardizing the city’s ability to provide goods and services to its more than 8 million residents, Mayor Eric Adams said this month.
New York has previously called on other municipalities around the state to take on more responsibility for housing and feeding new arrivals, who are currently filling shelters, hotels and makeshift tent facilities. Adams and New York Governor Kathy Hochul have said the federal government should mount a comprehensive national response that would provide migrants a path out of New York’s care.
The letter from the business leaders was signed by the co-chairmen of the Partnership for New York City, Pfizer Inc. Chief Executive Officer Albert Bourla and Tishman Speyer Properties CEO Rob Speyer. They were joined by dozens of other local CEOs, including JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s Jamie Dimon, BlackRock Inc.’s Larry Fink and KKR & Co.’s Henry Kravis.
“We urge you to take immediate action to better control the border and the process of asylum, and provide relief to the cities and states that are bearing the burdens posed by the influx of asylum seekers,” the group wrote.
Read More: New York Escalates Call for Federal Help on NYC Migrant Crisis
Many of the migrants who have arrived in New York are unable to work legally until their immigration cases work through the system. The city says it’s attempting to help them find work, offering safety training required for construction jobs, access to NYC identification cards and connections to legal clinics to fill out authorization forms. But state and city officials want a response from the federal government that would include expediting the process.
“The federal government can expedite work authorizations through executive actions like granting and extending Temporary Protected Status, specifically for countries like Venezuela, which constitute a significant portion of the arriving population and where the situation on the ground continues to deteriorate,” Hochul wrote in a letter to the Biden administration released last week.
The US Department of Homeland Security recently criticized the city’s response to the migrant crisis in letters sent to city and state officials dated Aug. 27.
In the letters, obtained by Bloomberg News, DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas identified “approximately two dozen recommendations to strengthen the City’s migrant operations” and cited “structural and operational issues” that DHS identified after visiting city shelter facilities in July. The Biden administration planned to share more detail with the Adams administration about those recommendations this week.
In one letter addressed to Hochul, Mayorkas said that federal officials “understand the need for timely issuance of employment authorization documents for eligible non-citizens” but cautioned that “we continue, unfortunately, to work within statutory constraints that do not ably serve our nation’s labor needs.”
The city’s migrant crisis has recently spilled out into city streets, as a temporary crush of incoming people left the city scrambling to find beds earlier this month. For several sweltering days, dozens of migrants were left sleeping on the sidewalks in Midtown Manhattan outside of the Roosevelt Hotel, which has served for months as the city’s official intake center for migrants who’ve come to New York.
New York voters disapprove of how Adams, Hochul and Biden are handling the crisis, according to a Siena College poll.
–With assistance from María Paula Mijares Torres, Fola Akinnibi and Sarah Holder.
(Updates with details on Mayorkas letters starting in ninth paragraph)
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