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Hochul deploys National Guard to help migrants with paperwork

So far, New York state has provided $50 million to help with "case management" for migrants.

Published: September 26, 2023 11:00pm

(The Center Square) -

(The Center Square) — New York Gov. Kathy Hochul is deploying additional National Guard troops to help the state handle an influx of tens of thousands of asylum-seekers.

Hochul said the additional 150 troops will be tasked with helping newly arriving Venezuelan migrants fill out paperwork to apply for federal employment authorization "to attain legal work status and exit taxpayer-funded shelters."

"It is critical that we help secure work authorization for asylum seekers and migrants in New York," the Democrat said in a statement. "We need to ensure individuals can navigate the paperwork necessary to get them established here so they can work and start making their American Dream a reality."

The additional troops will join about 2,000 who were previously deployed to deal with the migrant crisis, Hochul said. New York National Guard personnel have also been deployed to 51 hotels and two New York City Humanitarian Emergency Response and Relief Centers.

Last month, Hochul directed the New York State Department of Labor to connect employers with newly eligible asylum-seekers and migrants on the path to receiving work authorizations. More than 70 state personnel have been assigned to assist with processing work authorizations, she said.

So far, New York state has provided $50 million to help with "case management" for migrants.

The move follows President Joe Biden's decision last week to extend the federal government's temporary protected status to about 475,000 Venezuelan asylum-seekers who have arrived in the country before July 31, allowing them to work in the U.S. legally.

Hochul personally lobbied Biden to extend the TPS designation for Venezuelans, arguing it would help alleviate pressure on the state's beleaguered shelter system.

New York Republicans have long argued that TPS and "sanctuary" policies are encouraging migrants who enter the country illegally to travel to the Empire State.

New York City has seen more than 110,000 asylum-seekers arrive in the city amid a surge of undocumented immigration along the U.S.-Mexico border over the past year.

The Big Apple 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.

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. He said the cost of caring for migrants is expected to reach $12 billion in the next two years.

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