Gov. Kathy Hochul on Wednesday warned that New York is “at capacity,” and urged newly arrived migrants to settle someplace else — as the Biden administration cleared the way for Venezuelan migrants to get work permits.
Hochul told NY1 that granting Temporary Protective Status to and expediting work permits for thousands of Venezuelans who entered the US before July 31 is “an important first step,” in getting expedited work status for all migrants.
But the governor warned that New York is “at capacity” and suggested that migrants who have arrived since July 31 consider other cities to settle in.
“We have to let people know that if you’re thinking of coming to New York, we are truly out of space,” she said.
“The mayor has done an extraordinary job managing this crisis situation. We have been partners in helping him, but there must be other cities that do not have upwards of 125,000 people, over 60,000 in shelters, that can handle the volume easier in other states.”
About 41% of the migrants who have come to the Big Apple from the southern border are Venezuelans, according to City Hall data released last month.
More than 110,000 migrants in total have entered New York City since spring 2022.
Hochul said she had been pushing for more than a year to get Venezuelans the temporary protective status that allows them to work in the US, and that now working migrants will begin to live independently instead of relying on the city’s shelter system.
Expanding Temporary Protective Status to migrants allows them to work within 30 days instead of 180, meaning they will sooner be able to exit the shelters.
“And also serves the purpose of meeting this demand from Republicans in every corner in New York for more workers. So this is an important step,” she said.
Hochul said the state is committed to working with Adams “to ensure these people are connected to jobs as soon as they’re able to work.”
“We have to have more workers, and this is going to be a very, very positive development for our state’s economy, for these individuals and our desire to start not opening more shelters, but starting to shut down shelters,” she added.
Following the Department of Homeland Security’s announcement, Hochul unveiled a major initiative that will surge state resources and personnel to help eligible migrants file for work authorization and connect them to employers.
More than 70 staffers from 16 different state agencies will be assigned to the effort.
Another 50 DHS employees have been placed in New York to process migrants’ work authorization applications.
“It is critical that Venezuelans understand that those who have arrived here after July 31, 2023, are not eligible for such protection, and instead will be removed when they are found to not have a legal basis to stay,” Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas said.
He said the extension and expansion of the protective status was warranted “due to extraordinary and temporary conditions in Venezuela that prevent individuals from safely returning.”
The status also protects eligible migrants from deportation.