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Hochul pressures Biden for more support for migrants

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(The Center Square) — Democratic Gov. Kathy Hochul is ratcheting up the pressure on President Joe Biden to provide more help for New York as it grapples with an influx of tens of thousands of asylum seekers.

In a live-streamed address to New Yorkers on Thursday, Hochul reiterated her calls for the Biden administration to provide more federal funding and resources to the state and to fast-track work authorization for migrants. She also sent a letter to Biden outlining the state’s demands for funding and services for migrants.

“This crisis originated with the federal government, and it must be resolved through the federal government,” the Democrat said.

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.

Hochul called for the federal government to identify more federally owned land and sites to use as temporary shelters for asylum-seekers.

She also reiterated her argument that New York City’s shelter law doesn’t apply to the other 57 counties in the state, “which is one of the reasons we cannot and will not force other parts of our state to shelter migrants.”

In a statement, the White House said it is working with New York state to address the influx of migrants but pointed out that Congress controls federal funding.

“We will continue to partner with communities across the country to ensure they can received the support they need,” the statement read. “Only Congress can provide additional funding for these efforts, which this administration has already requested, and only Congress can fix the broken immigration system.”

New York City has seen an influx of more than 100,000 asylum-seekers over the past year and a surge of immigration along the U.S.-Mexico border. The city is providing housing, food and other necessities for more than 60,000 migrants, forcing it to open more than 200 shelters and tighten rules on its emergency housing program.

Hochul calls for more funding and work authorization were backed by other top New York Democrats, who joined her in criticizing the federal government’s response.

“There’s no question the federal government has fundamentally failed the City of New York,” Rep. Ritchie Torres, D-NY, said in a statement. “The wave of migration that has swept New York City has put unprecedented strain on our shelter system and available resources. It’s simply unsustainable.”

New York City Mayor Eric Adams, who has criticized the Biden administration for not doing enough, issued a statement after Hochul’s speech on Thursday, echoing her demands and calling on the federal government to declare a state of emergency to allow more funding and resources to be diverted to the migrant crisis.

But Adams also criticized Hochul for “minimizing the role” the state has in solving the crisis and urged her to use her executive powers “to prevent counties from issuing exclusionary emergency orders and give us the resources needed to get people out of shelter, so that they can move on to the next steps in their journeys.”

“The status quo cannot continue,” the Democrat said. “Put simply, New York City has largely managed this national crisis – a crisis that we believe New York state has an important role in helping to solve – alone.”

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