New York City Mayor Eric Adams, along with other city officials, is urging the Biden administration to provide expedited and emergency paths to work authorization for asylum seekers in the United States.
Currently, there are over 34,000 asylum seekers in New York City’s care, with the number expected to grow following the lifting of Title 42 on May 11, 2023. Despite this, Republican leaders in Congress have refused to provide any support for cities or states that have seen a mass influx of asylum seekers.
Mayor Adams is calling on the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to re-designate Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for migrants coming from Venezuela, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Sudan, South Sudan, and Cameroon. This would expand access to humanitarian parole for newly arriving asylum seekers and those already in the United States, as well as increase the number of USCIS officers to reduce application processing times. All of these actions can immediately be taken by the executive branch of the federal government, without the need for legislation to be passed by Republican leaders in Congress.
Mayor Adams stated that denying asylum seekers the ability to work legally sets them up for failure. “The actions we’re urging our federal partners to do, all of which can be done without support from the Republican leaders in Congress who refuse to do their jobs, will ensure that asylum seekers in New York City, and across the country, can do what they came here to do — work lawfully and build stable lives,” he said.
The costs of the crisis have continued to rise, with New York City alone incurring over $817 million in costs related to housing and providing services for asylum seekers as of March 31, 2023. The Adams administration has been calling for additional federal and state government support to address the influx of asylum seekers since last year.
Overall, the call for expedited and emergency paths to work authorization for asylum seekers is part of a larger effort by city officials to provide support to those seeking asylum and to address the humanitarian crisis at the border. By expanding access to TPS and humanitarian parole, and increasing USCIS staffing, Mayor Adams and other officials hope to provide a more efficient pathway for asylum seekers to safely enter the economy and start their American Dream.