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Hochul criticized for seeking federal aid for migrants

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(The Center Square) — New York Republicans are criticizing Gov. Kathy Hochul and other top Democrats for seeking more federal assistance for asylum seekers, arguing that they incentivize illegal immigration.

In a letter to Hochul, Rep. Nicole Malliotakis, R-NY, and three other Republican members of the state’s congressional delegation blasted her and New York City Mayor Eric Adams for requesting increased federal funding to add more shelters and for permission to use federally owned lands as sites for more encampments.

“Your request for increased federal funding to add additional shelters and permission to use federally owned lands as sites for more encampments is reckless,” the lawmakers wrote. “Your actions at the state level have only further incentivized illegal immigration and encouraged more migration that we cannot support in New York State.”

The lawmakers wrote they “vehemently” oppose using any federal lands to house migrants, saying it would “provide free services on the taxpayers’ dime to non-citizens.”

“It is also disgraceful for your administration to prioritize approvals of Section 8 housing for those who illegally cross the border, while pushing aside thousands of homeless New Yorkers, including veterans and victims of domestic violence, who have already been on a years-long waiting list,” they wrote.

The demands follow Hochul’s request to President Joe Biden last week to provide more help for New York as it grapples with an influx of tens of thousands of asylum seekers.

New York City has seen an influx of nearly 100,000 asylum seekers over the past year and a surge of immigration along the U.S.-Mexico border. The surge coincided with the end of the pandemic-era Title 42 policy that required migrants to stay in Mexico while requesting asylum, which expired in May.

The city is providing housing, food and other necessities for more than 60,000 migrants in more than 200 temporary “humanitarian” shelters. New York state has already spent $1.5 billion to provide housing and other necessities for migrants, which Hochul says could rise to $4.5 billion next year.

On Wednesday, Hochul said she met with White House officials to discuss additional federal funding and resources and reiterated her demands that the Biden administration fast-track work authorization for migrants.

“As New Yorkers know, securing expedited work authorization for asylum seekers and migrants has been and remains my top priority,” Hochul said in a statement. “It is the only way to help asylum seekers become self-sustaining, so they can move into permanent housing.”

But Malliotakis and other Republican lawmakers urged Hochul to “end these senseless policies” and called on Democrats in the U.S. Senate to pass a border security bill approved by the House earlier this year “to end this out-of-control crisis once and for all.”

“Rest assured, we will not be providing another cent of federal dollars or inch of federal lands to contribute to this calamity,” they wrote.

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