Work Permits are being sought by New York Lawmakers for Asylum Seekers

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Jul 9, 2023
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If you are someone who is keeping an eye on the situation that is evolving regarding the asylum seekers in New York at the moment, you will be happy to hear that there has been a significant development and you may want to know about it.

A bill has been proposed the local and state legislators which is led by Assemblymember Catalina Cruz and state Senator Luis Sepúlveda which has been named the New York Emergency Expedited Temporary Work Permit Act (NEXT-AP Act).

Having this bill in place will allow the state to issue work permits to asylum seekers within 45 days of their application submission. This will facilitate faster resettlement within the community. Right now, the passage of this bill remains uncertain as it bypasses federal law.

A special session to discuss the bill further is being considered by Governor Kathy Hochul, this special session will be used to emphasize the need to integrate asylum seekers into the workforce and alleviate the strain on the shelters at the moment. At the moment the city is struggling with the surge if migrants coming through which is costing them quite a lot of money at the moment and it is projected to reach $12 billion in the next three years.

If you would like to read more about this, you can do so here

I am someone who is fully aware of just how much asylum seekers are costing the city of New York at the moment and also how frustrated the citizens of New York are with how much this is costing and that a lot of what they pay in taxes and such is paying for asylum seekers to stay in the shelters that are provided. It would make sense to bring forward and push through a bill to fast-track asylum seekers into work once they come to New York to ease the burden on those who have to foot the bill.
 
Location
New York, United States
If you are accepting asylum seekers in the state, you also need to have clear rules to govern these people including a work permit. People need money to pay bills and if there are no clear rules, these people will end up working illegally. When people work illegally, they might face discrimination and in some cases, life risk. When people work illegally, the government will also lose tax money. Therefore, formulating work permit rules for asylum seekers is definitely a good move.
 
The proposed NEXT-AP Act is a positive move, aiming to issue work permits to asylum seekers quickly. This could ease the strain on shelters and help these individuals become self-sufficient sooner. While its passage remains uncertain, the governor's consideration of a special session shows dedication to addressing this pressing issue. Integrating asylum seekers into the workforce is crucial for New York's long-term prosperity.
 
I noticed there was a development in this story a couple days ago when the Biden administration announced that it would provide legal status and work permits to half-a-million Venezuelan migrants. This should hopefully provide some relief to New York's strained shelter system, though the city will still need to continue caring for tens of thousands of asylum seekers that don't qualify (i.e., are from counties other than Venezuela or are under 18). According to this article, New York currently has 60,000 asylum seekers in its care and only 9,500 will be eligible for immediate legal status/work permits under the policy change.

Don't know the status of the NEXT-AP Act or whether it's still being considered by the state's legislature but there's definitely a lot of attention on this right now. At the very least, looks like New York's governor has allocated $30 million to help the Venezuelan asylum seekers file their papers, which should hopefully help get those migrants working and out of shelters sooner than later.
 

For further information on this GPT, visit the U.S. National/Federal GPT page.

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