The federal government should expedite the process for tens of thousands of migrants living in New York to obtain employment while they are staying in the state, Gov. Kathy Hochul and Mayor Eric Adams said on Monday. 

At the same time, Hochul knocked the "bigoted policies" put in place by local officials who have sought to block migrants from staying in their counties. 

Hochul at an event in New York City urged President Joe Biden's administration to reduce the 180-day waiting period for migrants who have obtained asylum seeker status to get a job. 

Speaking before an audience that included key business leaders in New York, Hochul said the action could address the worker shortage in the state. 

The announcement with Hochul included Adams, who said more than 5,000 migrants have arrived in the city over the last week. 

Adams has sought to underscore the depth of the crisis facing the city while at the same time voluntarily moving some migrants to areas north. 

The current waiting period for migrants to gain employment is too long as New York also searches for sites to house migrants arriving in the state. More people are expected to come to New York after the lapse of a pandemic-era immigration order. 

"That's not working. That's not a solution," Hochul said of the waiting period for migrants with asylum seeker status. "They're ready to work, they're willing to work and they're not able to work."

New York's labor force participation has been around 60% over the last several months, far below the pre-pandemic level. Hochul has said privately and publicly she is hopeful migrants can work on farms in New York. 

The push by Hochul to give migrants the right to work in New York comes as she is also facing a broader concern over the housing of migrants. The state has been reviewing multiple sites for housing migrants, including public college and university campuses. 

Hochul was critical of county leaders who have put executive orders to place meant to block migrants from staying in their communities and being housed in hotels. Hochul issued a plea for unity to handle what she has called a crisis akin to a hurricane. 

"We need all levels of government to respond to this," she said. "We truly, truly do."

New York has put $1 billion aside to aid the migrant response, about 30% of what Adams has said is needed to address the issue. 

"Hope is still alive. The people who come here come here for one reason only and that's to participate in the American dream," Adams said. "That dream should not be a nightmare."

Hochul has previously asked the Biden administration for federal aid that would be similar to a disaster declaration, but no aid has been approved yet. 

Multiple county governments outside of New York City have approved emergency orders and filed legal challenges to block New York City from contracting with hotels to house migrants. 

Adams this month announced a four-month plan to voluntarily move 300 migrants north of New York City, initially to Orange and Rockland counties. 

County officials have raised concerns over not having enough resources in place to handle an influx of people to their communities. Many of the counties are struggling with their own lack of housing. 

“Madison County understands that these individuals seeking asylum here in the U.S. are doing so out of desperation. However, rural Madison County does not have the resources or services to provide thousands of individuals if they were to be sent here," said Madison County Board Chairman John M. Becker in a statement last week. “We are facing a humanitarian crisis here in our country.  he federal government needs to figure out a way to assist these individuals without just busing them to unprepared communities."