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New York Governor Hochul Appeals to Biden for Federal Help with Migrant Crisis

'I cannot ask New Yorkers to pay for what is fundamentally a federal responsibility,' Hochul said

Governor Kathy Hochul has asked President Joe Biden to assist New York as it deals with its increased migrant population.

Hochul announced she sent a letter to Biden asking for financial support for the estimated 100,000 migrants that have arrived in New York since 2022. The majority of the migrants are in New York City. The Democrat also wants the Biden administration to expedite work permits for the migrants, echoing frustrations voiced by New York City Mayor Eric Adams.

“For over a year, I have called for federal assistance and support for New York as we manage the unprecedented number of asylum seekers arriving in our state,” said Hochul during a public address in Albany. “New York cannot continue to do this on its own. It is past time for President Biden to take action and provide New York with the aid needed to continue managing this ongoing crisis.”

“The reality is that we’ve managed thus far without substantive support from Washington, and despite the fact that this is a national, and indeed an inherently federal issue,” added the governor. “But New York has shouldered this burden for far too long.”

Hochul has asked that the federal government pay for 2,000 New York National Guard members to provide “logistical and operational support” and to approve the state’s use of federal land and facilities as temporary shelter sites.

New York has always prided itself on its ability to absorb waves of immigrants, but it has struggled to handle the thousands who have come over the past year, many on buses paid for by the state of Texas to rid itself of people entering the U.S. across the southern border,” reports AP News. “New York Democrats initially blamed Republican governors of southern states for the crisis, but have increasingly sought to characterize it is a national problem that should be solved by the federal government.”

In her letter, Hochul said New York has already committed $1.5 billion to managing its migrant crisis and estimated the state may spend an additional $4.5 billion in 2024. New York City estimates it will spend $12 million on programs or services to assist approximately 58,000 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.”

Hochul noted that the majority of migrants arriving in New York come from Venezuela and suggested Biden issue an executive order extending Temporary Protected Status to those arrivals. She also wants the Department of Housing and Urban Development to offer Section 8 housing vouchers to migrants to “relieve the pressure on the City’s shelters” and “decrease the City’s significant costs to shelter elsewhere.”

The governor stressed the urgency of her request, noting that the asylum seekers and illegal immigrants are arriving in New York at “high and unabated levels.”

“It is the federal government’s direct responsibility to manage and [take] 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,” Hochul told Biden. “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.”

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