Biden administration offers help to NYC in migrant crisis, provides protection to nearly half a million Venezuelans

MIDLAND BEACH, Staten Island (WABC) — As more than 115,000 migrants arrived in New York City last year crossing the border from Mexico, Mayor Eric Adams and Gov. Kathy Hochul implored President Joe Biden to do one thing, above all else, to ease the crisis: “Put them to work.” Give,” both Democrats have said repeatedly in speeches and interviews.

Increasingly impatient leaders of Biden’s party in other cities and states echoed the same message last month, saying the administration should make it easier for immigrants to quickly get work authorization, which would allow them to pay for food and housing. will allow.

The Biden administration took a step toward acceding to that demand on Wednesday, granting temporary legal status to an estimated 472,000 Venezuelans in the US that would make it easier for them to obtain work permits.

Gov. Hochul, who met with President Joe Biden on Tuesday, said she was “grateful that the federal government has moved so quickly to approve one of our top priorities.”

He said New York State is ready to immediately begin the process of signing people up for work authorization and getting them jobs.

Speeding up the work authorization process is one of several key items Hochul is asking from the federal government, along with more money and more federal sites to house immigrants.

Mayor Adams also issued a statement thanking the President for the move.

“More than 116,000 asylum seekers have come to New York City since last spring in search of the American dream,” he said. “Our administration and our allies across the city have led the call to ‘put them to work,’ so I want to thank President Biden for listening to our entire coalition, including our hard-working congressional delegation, and taking this important step.” “which will bring hope to the thousands of Venezuelan asylum seekers currently in our care who will now be immediately eligible for Temporary Protected Status.”

Those steps pleased Hochul and Adams, but both hoped the administration would also extend temporary protected status to immigrants from countries other than Venezuela. This designation is usually given to places where armed conflict or natural disaster occurs.

The latest development in the ongoing border crisis comes a day after protesters flooded the road outside an East Midland Beach senior living facility Tuesday night, temporarily blocking a bus carrying 20 asylum seekers. Blocked when local leaders said they learned it was slated for the city’s newest home. Migrant shelter.

Protesters gathered in front of an MTA bus in front of the former Island Shores Beach building. The 288-bed facility was put up for sale last year and residents have been protesting for weeks, ever since rumors of it becoming migrant housing began circulating.

Authorities say 10 people were arrested — including nine charged with disorderly conduct and a 48-year-old man charged with allegedly assaulting an officer who was trying to make an arrest.

Some members of the Staten Island community say that officers were aggressive, and that they were trying to suppress their right to protest.

“They arrested me. I don’t know why, for no reason,” said one protester, speaking on condition of anonymity.

“As I told them, they don’t have enough handcuffs, they don’t have enough police, they don’t have enough cars. We’re going to be here 24/7, 365, and illegals are not going to want to come here. They should be in Manhattan,” said Guardian Angels founder Curtis Sliwa.

These protests are not new to the Staten Island community. Last month, residents showed their frustration over the city’s decision to house immigrants at the former St. John Villa Academy.

Mayor Eric Adams responded to the outrage Wednesday.

Adams said, “We saw it last night on Staten Island where people are fighting and using derogatory terms to judge people based on their ethnicity. That’s not who we are as a city.”

Governor Hochul echoed those sentiments, saying, “I think it’s very un-New York. People need to search their hearts about where their families come from.”

Meanwhile, in Washington, the City Council’s top Republican testified before a House committee on the migrant crisis on Wednesday and praised the mayor.

“I give him credit for being virtually the only elected official in his own party who has repeatedly said loudly and publicly that the open border policies of this White House, Secretary Mayorkas, and the federal agencies under his control have been an absolute disaster. New York,” said City Councilman Joseph Borrelli.

In New York City, officials are also considering changing how long single adult asylum seekers can stay in shelters. It may increase from 60 days to 30 days.

The city is also considering imposing a 60-day limit on how long families with children are allowed to stay at the shelter. Right now, they are allowed to stay as long as they need to.

A spokesperson for the Department of Social Services released the following statement regarding the Staten Island site:

“Since last spring, more than 110,000 asylum seekers have arrived in New York City in need of shelter. More than 60,000 people are in the city’s care, while hundreds more arrive every day, leaving our shelter system overwhelmed. Excess capacity The need is dire, and every community must do their part as we rapidly open new sites across all five boroughs to meet the growing need for shelter. In New York City, we treat everyone with respect and compassion. We do this with long-term New Yorkers and new arrivals alike, and DSS is committed to ensuring the safety of our customers at all times.”

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