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Gov. Kathy Hochul says President Joe Biden "has heard me loud and clear" on asylum seeker crisis

Gov. Hochul says President Biden "has heard me loud and clear" on asylum seeker crisis
Gov. Hochul says President Biden "has heard me loud and clear" on asylum seeker crisis 02:59

NEW YORK -- Mayor Eric Adams said Wednesday an anti-asylum seeker protest on Staten Island that led to several arrests "is not who we are as a city."

This as Gov. Kathy Hochul said she had a productive meeting with President Joe Biden to press for federal help.

It may all come down to what your definition of "productive" is. When CBS New York's Marcia Kramer pressed the governor about what happened when she finally had a chance to meet face-to-face with the president, she was tight lipped about whether she walked away with any guarantees.

"Did you come away from your meeting with the president yesterday with any more optimism, any sense that there will be more aid, more help, more, you know, reaction to the need for work permits, this desperate need for people to work?" Kramer asked.

"What I can say at this time is I felt that he is listening to us. He has heard us. He has heard me loud and clear," Hochul said.

READ MOREMayor Eric Adams' proposed budget cuts under fire, as he considers limiting asylum seeker shelter stays

Hearing is one thing, doing is another. And while the governor said she talked about a host of issues, ranging from more shelters on federal land to more federal aid, it remains to be seen whether the check will be in the mail. She said that could depend on the Republicans in the New York delegation, who, so far, haven't done enough to help.

"Stop talking about shutting down the government and do your jobs," Hochul said. "Republicans from New York state ought to be on the phone, or walk into the office of Speaker McCarthy and say our state needs help."

WATCH10 taken into custody as Staten Island residents block asylum seekers' bus

And in the aftermath of a protest on Staten Island on Tuesday night against a shelter at the Island Shores Senior Residences on Father Capodanno Boulevard, the governor said the city's right-to-shelter law should be amended.

"I do not think that the original intent of the New York City right-to-shelter, and I've said this before, was an unlimited universal invitation to the entire world to come to New York and be housed and sheltered at taxpayer expense," Hochul said.

READ MORE31 migrants, including children, found living under dangerous conditions inside small house in New City, New York

On Tuesday night, demonstrators on Staten Island blocked a bus of migrants arriving at the shelter.

"Nothing is around here for immigrants. There is no supermarkets in walking distance. What are they going to do here? There is no work. There is no supermarket, nothing," one person said.

"We're here today because they have unvetted migrants here," another said.

READ MOREStudents from Upper East Side synagogue collect donations for asylum seekers

Several police units were called in response to the crowd in the street. Authorities said 10 people were taken into custody, nine were given summonses for disorderly conduct. One person was charged with assaulting a police officer and resisting arrest.

"We've been left alone as a city to solve a national problem," Adams said Wednesday. "I need us to get through this together, and how we get through it is not what we saw on Staten Island last night, with people are banging and using derogatory terms. That is not who we are as a city."

Staten Island residents have also protested the arrival of asylum seekers at St. John Villa, a former Catholic school in the Arrochar neighborhood.

Meanwhile, Deputy Senate Majority Leader Michael Gianaris told Kramer the Legislature has lawyers studying the issue of whether the state can issue its own work permits.

Another demonstration against the Staten Island shelter is scheduled for Wednesday evening.

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