NEW YORK – As Republican leaders in Congress continue to refuse to provide any support for cities or states that have seen a mass influx of asylum seekers, New York City Mayor Eric Adams, members of the Adams administration, and elected officials on Wednesday, April 19, urged the Biden administration to immediately enhance paths to work authorization for asylum seekers currently in the U.S. and those who continue to arrive every day. It has been approximately one year since asylum seekers first started to be bussed to the five boroughs, and New York City still continues to receive approximately 200 asylum seekers each day — a number that’s only expected to grow following the lifting of Title 42 on May 11, 2023.
- Given the continued worsening humanitarian crisis in Venezuela, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Sudan, South Sudan, and Cameroon, re-designating TPS to a more recent date and extending the eligibility period would allow a higher number of asylum seekers to access TPS protection. TPS-eligible individuals are able to receive work authorization for the duration of their TPS.
- Providing access to humanitarian parole for asylum seekers in the United States and those crossing the border and allowing them to extend, as necessary, will further expedite access to work authorization. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security can exercise their discretion to provide humanitarian parole to individuals at the border and already in the United States, who can then apply for work authorization.
- Surging additional USCIS officers to process key application types may dramatically reduce TPS and work authorization application processing times, including for individuals with pending asylum applications.
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, to expand access to humanitarian parole for newly arriving asylum seekers and asylum seekers already in the United States, and to increase the number of and reassign existing U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) officers to reduce application processing times. All of these actions can immediately be taken by the executive branch of the federal government and without legislation being passed by Republican leaders in Congress who refuse to offer any support for the ongoing crisis.
“As a city, we have done everything in our power to provide support to the tens of thousands of asylum seekers who have arrived at our doorstep,” said Mayor Adams. “While New York City has shouldered the costs of this crisis largely alone, we have always said that this is a national crisis that requires a coordinated, comprehensive response from the federal government. To deny people 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.”
“While our administration has been leading the charge to respond to this humanitarian crisis, we need the federal government to support a nationwide strategy,” said Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs Commissioner Manuel Castro. “Thousands of recently arrived New Yorkers, unable to return to their home countries due to dangerous and unsafe circumstances, can be protected through TPS and humanitarian parole.”
The Adams administration has been calling upon the federal and state governments to provide additional support to address the influx of asylum seekers since last year. Today’s call lays out three concrete steps that the executive branch of the federal government can immediately take to expedite work authorization for asylum seekers:
As of March 31, 2023, New York City alone has incurred more than $817 million in costs related to housing and caring for the asylum seeker population. Over Fiscal Year 2023, the city anticipates spending $1.4 billion, and $2.9 billion in Fiscal Year 2024. This means an estimated total of $4.3 billion will be spent by June 30, 2024.
Despite calls for additional support for months, New York City faces these costs alone, without adequate support from the federal or state governments. This is an unsustainable fiscal burden that strains the city’s budget and places at risk funding for programs and services that benefit New Yorkers.