Migrants with asylum seeker status should have expedited approval to legally find work, New York's top business lobby urged federal officials this week.
The Business Council of New York State joined a litany of elected officials in New York's state government who have urged federal officials to reduce the 180-day waiting period for work approval as thousands of migrants have entered the state over the last several weeks.
"By reducing the waiting period, we lessen the financial burden placed on the municipalities hosting individuals while simultaneously providing the opportunity for immigrants to find gainful employment," Business Council President and CEO Heather Mulligan wrote in letters to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand. "This is all most immigrants are asking for, a chance to be part of the American way of life."
Gov. Kathy Hochul has called for an expedited work apporval provision as well for asylum seekers. She has also grappled with the influx of migrants and an ongoing dispute between New York City and numerous local governments over moving people out of the city and into motels.
The rise in migrants arriving in New York has led to logistical headaches and questions over where to house people. Hochul has sought federal aid for additional resources as well as the expedited work approval.
In her letter, Mulligan pointed to The Business Council's prior support for allowing undocumented immigrants to have access to driver's licenses in New York as well as the need for broader changes to the nation's immigraion laws.
"Comprehensive immigration policy is long overdue and is a necessary step in helping to manage the current influx of immigrants coming to the U.S., particularly in New York state," she wrote.