ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10)– Governor Kathy Hochul is continuing her calls for the federal government to speed up the process for asylum seekers to work legally here in the United States. Republicans however have some concerns.
“We need all levels of government to respond to this. We truly, truly do,” said Governor Hochul.
She has once again called on the federal government to send more money, open shelter locations on federal property, and to speed up the work authorization process for asylum seekers here in New York State
“There are over 5,000 farm jobs. 5,000 farm jobs as we speak. The cows don’t wait to be milked, the plants don’t wait to be maintained and harvested in a few months— the crops. We have more than 5,000 food service jobs right now.”
She said in addition, there are 4,000 openings for janitors, cleaners, and housekeepers.
Senate Minority Leader Rob Ortt is apprehensive.
“I’m concerned that by speeding up that work authorization, you can’t tell me that we are not losing something on the security piece of that process. And that concerns me,” said Ortt.
Governor Hochul is also working to find state owned properties to house migrants, including possibly SUNY schools.
“The timing is very good because a lot of the students have left now for the summer,” explained Hochul. “There are temporary dorms through August, so we are looking at the long range situation, what happens in August? So that’s the strategy we are trying to develop now.
Senate Republican Dan Stec is now sponsoring a bill that he says will prohibit SUNY dorms from housing migrants. Senate Republicans are also introducing bills that would prohibit housing migrants in K-12 schools throughout the state and in New York City.
In the state budget, one billion dollars was allocated to help the migrant crisis. Republicans have now sent a letter to State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli requesting an account of exactly how that money is being spent.