BOSTON - The Biden administration has offered nearly half-a-million Venezuelan migrants in the U.S. theto live and work in the country legally.
It comes as states including Massachusetts have beenthe federal government to do more to help house asylum-seekers.
The move is one of the steps Governor Maura Healey said she's been begging the administration to take. However, new arrivals from Venezuela are only a small percentage of the families in emergency shelters in the state.
In a statement Thursday, the governor said she is "grateful" for the new commitments, but added "more needs to be done."
"We continue to advocate for additional federal funding, expedited work permits, and extended Temporary Protected Status for Haitian families," Healey said Thursday.
The Biden administration said late Wednesday it will grant the Venezuelan migrants temporary protected status, which gives them the ability to live and work in the United States legally for 18 months.
This applies to those who arrived by July 31, 2023. According to an administration official, that cutoff date is in place to discourage other Venezuelan asylum-seekers from crossing into the U.S.
Earlier this week, the governor said the current situation is not sustainable in Massachusetts.
"We need expedited work permits. Of these new arrivals, they all want to work. The lieutenant governor and I have been out speaking with the new arrivals. To a person, they all want to work, and they have skills and ways to contribute to our work force. We need action so that they are able to work," Healey told reporters Tuesday. "It has reached a point where we are really reaching capacity in terms of what we're able to do."
Healey argues this is a federal problem and she's also calling for more federal funds to help solve it.
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