(The Center Square) — New York Gov. Kathy Hochul is touting thousands of job openings in the state for newly authorized asylum-seekers as the Democrat seeks to ease the financial pressure of caring for a massive influx of migrants.
The New York State Department of Labor announced on Monday that it has identified at least 18,000 jobs with more than 350 employers willing to hire work-eligible migrants.
The agency said the jobs range from open positions in industries from hospitality, health and social services to manufacturing, retail and construction.
“Migrants and asylum seekers came here to work — so let’s put them to work,” Hochul said on Monday. “Right now, we have a migrant crisis and a workforce crisis. By connecting work-eligible individuals with jobs and opportunity in New York, we can solve them both and secure a brighter future for all New Yorkers.”
The move comes after President Joe Biden granted temporary legal status to hundreds of thousands of Venezuelans already in the country last week. Under the changes, Venezuelans who arrived in the country before July 31 are eligible to apply for legal status for 18 months. They can also legally work without having to wait the usual 180 days.
New York City has seen more than 118,000 asylum-seekers arrive in the city amid a surge of undocumented immigration along the U.S.-Mexico border over the past year. New York City Mayor Eric Adams has said the migrant crisis will “destroy” the city if the federal government doesn’t provide more funding or resources.
Hochul was among New York Democrats who pushed for TPS status for Venezuelans, who make up about 40% of the migrants in New York, allowing them to work and earn money.
She has argued that work authorization is the key to easing the financial stress on the state and local governments from caring for tens of thousands of migrants in emergency housing while also addressing pressing labor shortages in key industries.
A majority of the jobs touted by the Hochul administration, more than 9,800, are located in New York City, according to the state agency. Another 2,800 jobs are in the Hudson Valley, while more than 1,500 are in western New York. Long Island has about 1,200 job openings for migrants, the agency said.
In August, Hochul directed the state Labor Department to connect employers with newly eligible asylum-seekers on the path to receiving work authorizations as she pressured the Biden administration to fast-track the process.
Last month, Hochul deployed an additional 150 National Guard troops to help newly arriving Venezuelan migrants fill out paperwork to apply for federal employment authorization. To date, New York state has shelled out more than $50 million to help with “case management” for migrants.
New York Republicans have long argued that TPS, New York City’s right to shelter law and “sanctuary” policies are encouraging migrants who enter the country illegally to travel to the Empire State.
“Not one more dime of taxpayer money should be put toward a problem that #OnePartyRule is actively aiding and abetting,” Senate Minority Leader Rob Ortt said in a recent post on social media. “As long as right to shelter and sanctuary cities exist, the money pit will only grow to insurmountable levels.”