Authored by Katabella Roberts via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),
New York Governor Kathy Hochul is urging President Joe Biden to direct the federal government and help provide the sanctuary state with housing, support, and work authorization for illegal immigrants.
In an Aug. 24 letter (pdf) to President Biden, Ms. Hochul, a Democrat, laid out a number of specific requests, including expedited work authorizations for illegal immigrants to allow them to “resettle in communities more quickly,” financial assistance for New York City and New York State, and the use of federal land and facilities for temporary shelter sites.
She also requested Title 32 designation to grant funding for the roughly 2,000 New York National Guard members who have been providing logistical and operational support to shelter the illegal immigrants across the state.
The letter comes as New York is struggling with an unprecedented influx of illegal immigrants—roughly 100,000 have arrived in New York City over the past year.
Ms. Hochul’s administration had already allocated $1.5 billion in state aid to address the influx of illegal immigrants and earlier this week announced a $20 million investment to help expedite the casework filing process for more than 30,000 asylum seekers.
However, in her letter to the president, Ms. Hochul said that the increase in illegal immigrants has stretched the city’s and state’s resources, “created tremendous operational and management challenges,” and “imposed overwhelming demands on the City’s homeless shelters.”
The result is a “humanitarian crisis” the governor wrote.
‘More Vigorous Federal Response’
“I wrote to you earlier this year to ask for the use of certain federal properties to provide temporary shelter,” she continued. “While I appreciate you taking initial steps to assist the State in this regard and your longstanding commitment to an equitable approach to immigration at the Southwest border, the challenges we face demand a much more vigorous federal response.”
The governor asked for millions of dollars in federal funding to reimburse the $22 million per month the state is spending on deploying National Guard members to shelters, as well as funding for the free Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) program provided to illegal immigrants.
“To date, the MTA has spent over $2.3 million for these services and the costs will continue to rise,” she wrote.
The Democrat also asked the administration to provide financial assistance to cover the cost of testing immigrants for illnesses that might pose a threat to public health, education aid for school districts seeing dramatic increases in their student population as a direct result of the immigration crisis, and housing vouchers, and to cover the costs of the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s housing subsidy programs.
This includes Section 8 housing vouchers, which provide eligible homeless families and individuals help with moving into permanent housing, thus relieving the pressure on the city’s shelters, and decreasing the city’s significant costs to shelter elsewhere.
‘I Cannot Ask New Yorkers to Pay’
“No challenge is too great, and we are stepping up to handle this mission,” the governor wrote. “However, the flow of asylum seekers and migrants into New York is continuing at a high and unabated level. It is the federal government’s direct responsibility to manage and control of the nation’s borders.”
“Without any capacity or responsibility to address the cause of the migrant influx, New Yorkers cannot then shoulder these costs,” she continued. “I cannot ask New Yorkers to pay for what is fundamentally a federal responsibility and I urge the federal government to take prompt and significant action today to meet its obligation to New York State.”
Separately on Thursday, Ms. Hochul announced she has directed the state’s Department of Labor to connect illegal immigrants to employers with job openings throughout New York state.
The governor said this will allow illegal immigrants to begin working immediately after obtaining federal work authorization.
“What we’ve said all along is just let them work and help us out financially,” Ms. Hochul said. “Not only will the ability to give them employment allow them to get through this crisis, it helps solve another crisis that we are experiencing in every corner of the state.“
In a statement to Politico responding to Ms. Hochul’s request, White House spokesperson Angelo Fernández Hernández said the Biden administration continues to work with New York, noting a recent visit by senior adviser Tom Perez.
“We will continue to partner with communities across the country to ensure they can receive the support they need. Only Congress can provide additional funding for these efforts, which this administration has already requested, and only Congress can fix the broken immigration system,” Mr. Fernández Hernández said.
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