immigration /

DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas Tells New York to Fix 'Operational Issues' Amid Migrant Crisis

Governor Kathy Hochul and New York City Mayor Eric Adams have repeatedly asked the Biden administration for support

Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandros Mayorkas sent letters to New York officials detailing ways to improve their management of the migrant crisis.

New York Governor Kathy Hochul and New York City Mayor Eric Adam each received letters from Mayorkas after both Democrats separately called for federal assistance. Both Hochul and Adam have said their offices cannot manage the more than 100,000 migrants that have arrived in the state since the spring of 2022 without significant aid from the Biden administration.

“The structural issues include governance and organization of the migrant operations, including issues of authority, structure, personnel, and information flow,” Mayorkas wrote in the letters, which were first reported by Politico. “The operational issues include the subjects of data collection, planning, case management, communications, and other aspects of day-to-day operations.”

Mayorkas’s letter reportedly suggested New York City improve its data collection during the intake process, communicate better with the migrants, and increase efforts to inform migrants about their “ability to apply for work authorization and the need to apply for asylum.”

He also said that a federal assessment team that had viewed shelter sites in New York City last week was compiling a list of recommendations and improvements that would be shared with city and state officials. 

“We are hopeful that our recommendations will equip the city to take additional steps to improve the migrant operations and maximize the value of our continued partnership and your support,” wrote Mayorkas

The Biden administration’s letter comes less than a week after Hochul sent her own letter appealing for federal support. She said that New York cannot continue to manage the “unprecedented number of asylum seekers.”

“It is past time for President Biden to take action and provide New York with the aid needed to continue managing this ongoing crisis,” she said at a press conference on Aug. 25.

Hochul’s government has already committed $1.5 billion to fund services to aid migrants.

“The City and the State are incurring these unexpected expenditures in the midst of declining tax revenues while costs are rising,” Hochul wrote. “This is a financial burden the City and State are shouldering on behalf of the federal government. While the State appreciates the $145 million contribution that the federal government has made to this effort, this allotment of funds is insufficient. The costs to provide services and assistance to migrants arriving in New York are high and the need for federal assistance is clear.”

New York City estimated it will cost $12 billion to assist approximately 58,000 migrants currently in its care.

Mayor Eric Adams has accused the federal government of being “anti-American” for not expediting work permits for the illegal immigrants.

“There’s no reason the national government is not staying true to the basic principle of the American experience to allow you to the right to work… It’s unacceptable that they cannot work,” Adams said at a press conference on Aug. 15.

“We need workers. We need people contributing in our society,” he continued. “That is how our city has become the greatest city on the globe — by opening our doors.”

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