Hochul says she's asking the Legislature for more money to help ease the migrant crisis
Gov. Kathy Hochul said she’s been working with leaders of the New York State Legislature to include more money in next year’s budget to deal with the migrant crisis.
New York City has for months been struggling to house and feed the influx of migrant asylum-seekers from the southern border. Some have been bused to hotels upstate. Others have been sleeping on the streets in the city, waiting for admission to overcrowded shelters.
Hochul said she does not expect the crisis to end anytime soon and is asking the Senate and Assembly to consider allocating more money beyond the $1 billion that the state has already pledged to New York City.
“I'm already in conversations with the Legislature about the next year's budget to make sure we have the financial resources to help the mayor address this crisis,” Hochul said. “It's untenable. And it's at a breaking point.”
Hochul said the state is also footing the bill for 2,000 National Guard members called in to help, and is establishing sites to house migrants, including a former prison and psychiatric center as well as an airplane hangar at John F. Kennedy International Airport.
For months, Hochul has been asking President Joe Biden to grant a waiver to allow the asylum-seekers to begin to work immediately and forgo the six-month waiting period before they can seek employment.
Hochul said the migrants want to work, and many industries in the state could use the help.
“So (that) we can have these individuals who I know will be welcomed by all of the employers who are begging for us to find people to work in landscaping, and in hotels and restaurants and nursing homes, and in hospitals and kitchens,” Hochul said. “There are so many jobs that we could put people in tomorrow.”
The governor said she spoke with the White House as recently as Thursday, but so far, she has not been successful.
Hochul is also asking the federal government to help identify properties that could be converted to temporary shelters.