Customs, Border and Immigration News

Biden Admin Blames New York’s Migrant Crisis On Hochul, Adams

The Biden administration blamed Democratic leaders in New York for problems associated with its migrant crisis, Politico reported Monday.

Democratic New York Gov. Kathy Hochul previously asked the Biden administration for expedited work permits, additional funds to help migrants go to school, help erecting more shelters, reimbursements for deploying the National Guard and payment for future costs of the deployments. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas sent letters Monday to Hochul and Democratic New York City Mayor Eric Adams outlining how they need to fix their migrant crisis, according to Politico, which obtained copies of the letters.

“The structural issues include governance and organization of the migrant operations, including issues of authority, structure, personnel, and information flow,” Mayorkas wrote. “The operational issues include the subjects of data collection, planning, case management, communications, and other aspects of day-to-day operations.”

The Biden administration wants New York leaders to improve data collection, communication with the migrants and improve information provided about the work authorization process and the need to apply for asylum, according to Politico, which cited an official familiar with the recommendations.

“We are hopeful that our recommendations will equip the city to take additional steps to improve the migrant operations and maximize the value of our continued partnership and your support,” Mayorkas added.

Mayorkas said the administration already offered several housing options to Hochul that included a hangar in John F. Kennedy airport and the Floyd Bennett Field, according to Politico. The Department of Interior (DOI) sent a lease on Aug. 21 to both New York City and the state to create a temporary shelter at Floyd Bennett Field — a discussion that is taking place in person, he said.

“We look forward to hearing from the city and state on the viability of these sites,” Mayorkas wrote.

“DOI seeks to finalize that lease as soon as you are ready,” he continued.

Many of the sites offered by the federal government are far from New York City, where most of the migrants are residing, Hochul Spokesperson Avi Small told Politico. Meanwhile, the Biden administration cannot fulfill Hochul’s request for expedited work permits with current restrictions.

Migrants awaiting adjudication of their asylum claims must wait 150 days to apply for a work permit and an additional 30 days to receive one, a Biden administration official recently told the DCNF, adding that the White House is preparing an additional $100 million in aid for New York in the weeks to come.

“As Governor Hochul has repeatedly said, this crisis will only abate once the federal government takes action on work authorization and allows migrants to be resettled permanently, and we look forward to learning additional details from the Department of Homeland Security during today’s briefing,” Small said to Politico.

Mayorkas has yet to indicate whether he would fulfill such a request.

“We are exploring all options available to improve operational efficiency, including through additional staffing and technology improvements to streamline case processing, as well as improved methods of communicating information about the employment authorization process with noncitizens,” Mayorkas wrote, according to Politico.

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Jennie Taer

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Jennie Taer

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