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Gov. Kathy Hochul, Mayor Eric Adams, business leaders call on federal government to expedite work permits for asylum seekers

Hochul, Adams call on feds to expedite work permits for asylum seekers
Hochul, Adams call on feds to expedite work permits for asylum seekers 02:41

NEW YORK -- Gov. Kathy Hochul and Mayor Eric Adams made passionate pleas for the federal government to expedite work permits for the 70,000 asylum seekers who have arrived in New York City

The demand to let asylum seekers work makes sense. If they work, they can pay their own way. Which means the city is off the hook for housing, food, clothing and life's essentials.

And if the asylum seekers work legally, they also pay taxes. 

Hochul, Adams continue to call for asylum seeker assistance 45:34

"There are over 5,000 farm jobs open as we speak," said Hochul. "We have more than 5,000 food service jobs right now ... 4,000 openings for janitors, cleaners and housekeepers." 

Business leaders, congressmen, and even a Venezuelan asylum seeker joined Hochul and Adams to plead with President Biden to expedite work permits for migrants so they can start living the American dream. 

"We are a hard-working people and we came here to do that," said Yvert Rada in Spanish. 

Immigration Commissioner Manuel Castro translated for Rada, who said he already joined a training program to get a job. 

Business leaders spoke about how anxious they are to train and hire the asylum seekers. 

"If we had a situation where we learned that 5,000 people came in yesterday who wanted to work, we would say, 'Hallelujah, sign us up.' We will put recruiting tables out immediately," said Danny Meyer, of Union Square Hospitality. 

"Now it is time for the federal government to step up and authorize these local businesses to be able to hire the asylum seekers," said Andrew Rigie, of the New York Hospitality Alliance. 

NY leaders plead with feds to fast track asylum seeker work permits 02:52

What officials want is for the feds to expedite work permits. Currently, asylum seekers have to wait 180 days after their paperwork has been successfully filed. 

"It is creating an underground market where individuals could be exploited, unable to pay into our tax base, working long and difficult and dangerous jobs because they are living in the shadow of the American dream and not out front. It increases the risk that they can be abused," said Adams. 

Hochul is asking for more immigration judges to be sent to New York to help expedite the asylum requests filed by those arriving here. 

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