Customs, Border and Immigration News

‘Overflowing’: Blue State Considers Using Airplane Hangars At Major Airport To House Migrants

The Democratic-run state of New York is considering using an airplane hangar at John F. Kennedy International Airport to house migrants, the state’s governor, Kathy Hochul, said Monday during a press conference.

The state is assessing how it can expand housing for migrants as New York City reaches its breaking point, Hochul said. There are more than 42,000 individuals in city shelters, Hochul said while applauding Democratic New York City Mayor Eric Adams’ efforts to continue to expand housing for migrants.

“We are identifying additional shelters. The city is overflowing,” Hochul said.

“The mayor has used every ounce of creativity with him and his team to find space, and we are asking for more space, were looking at hangars at JFK, we’ve asked for Floyd Bennett Field [an area operated by the National Park Service] to stand up a major operation, we have other facilities we have been talking about. We’ll be announcing more on that briefly,” Hochul said.

An influx of migrants began arriving to New York City in April 2022, when Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott started busing migrants from the southern border to the Big Apple. The city spends roughly $8 million per day to support the migrants.

Adams later began programs to bus migrants out of his city to an area near the northern border and to the suburbs, drawing the ire of several local jurisdictions.

Hochul has been working with the White House to expedite the handing out of work permits to the migrants in New York City, she said.

“More than anything, we need changes to the work authorization policies that will let these individuals not have to wait months and possibly years for legal status, but let’s get it in an expedited basis,” Hochul said, adding that the current wait is 180 days after a migrant files an asylum claim.

“We need this help from Washington,” Hochul said, adding there are 5,000 farm jobs, 5,000 food service jobs and 4,000 janitorial jobs available in the state.

She also is seeking more immigration judges to adjudicate migrants’ asylum cases, urging that some from out of state work remotely to provide support.

Federal authorities at the southern border recorded more than 2.3 million migrant encounters in fiscal year 2022 and more than 1.4 million so far in fiscal year 2023.

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Jennie Taer

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Jennie Taer

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