Gov. Kathy Hochul and New York City officials joined forces Monday to ask the federal government to expedite the legal process to allow people seeking asylum to secure employment in the state, but Republican lawmakers are concerned that employing migrants will pose a public safety risk.

Senate Republicans want transparency of the public dollars spent on the ongoing migrant crisis — a figure officials say they won't have until New York City files for reimbursement of expenses next quarter.

Hochul said Monday a small amount of the $1.3 billion included in the state budget to address the migrant crisis has been spent.

"Where does that go?" Senate Minority Leader Rob Ortt said. "How is that being used?"

New York City will apply for reimbursement for legal services and up to 29% of migrant housing costs, including of people in other counties.

"The money goes to the city," Hochul told reporters Monday. "The city is legally responsible for taking care of these individuals, even if they leave the city."

At an event together Monday, Hochul and New York City Mayor Eric Adams demanded the the federal government take action as tens of thousands of migrants arrive in the state to get a job. They requested federal officials waive the 180-day waiting period for people seeking asylum to achieve legal status and go to work.

Hochul says asylum-seekers could help fill thousands of open positions on farms and in the service industry.

"They're eager to work," the governor said. "They want to work. They came here in search of work and a new future, and they can become part of our economy and part of our communities, and people are ready to start training them right in facilities like we have here today."

Senate Republicans also introduced legislation to prohibit the housing of migrants on SUNY campuses or in K-12 schools, and a measure to prohibit local governments and police agencies from interfering with federal immigration enforcement.

Ortt is concerned about asylum seekers securing employment without a proper vetting process, and the potential impact on public safety.

"Unless someone [official] there can say we can vet these people and provide the same certitude that they are who they are, that they haven't raped, they haven't murdered, they haven't robbed, and they're not here to blow people up, or sell drugs — if that's the case, that's fine," Ortt said. "We can look at something like that."

But the state Farm Bureau supports the governor's request.

"New York Farm Bureau has long been calling for immigration reform to address serious labor issues that place our food system in jeopardy," bureau President David Fisher said in a statement. A lack of a strong border policy has led us to today. We support Gov. Hochul’s request to the federal government to expedite work visas for migrants who have been properly processed and who want to work on farms in New York State. There are good opportunities to be a part of our valuable food system, and we will continue to work with the NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets along with Cornell's Agricultural Workforce Development program to find a pathway forward. However, this action would just be a temporary band aid for a greater problem that must be solved in Washington, D.C."

Officials with the Farm Bureau declined to be interviewed, referring to Fisher's statement.

Hochul is railing against the several dozen counties that have issued states of emergency or orders that they will not accept incoming migrants.

"Any rejection of migrants coming is also hurting their employers," Hochul said. "And in rural areas, it's hurting their farmers, it's hurting their small businesses and it's hurting our main streets."

The state continues to wait for a response from the White House to use federal property to house asylum seekers, or expediting the workforce authorization.

Representatives with the Senate Democrats say the state budget included $1.3 billion to address the migrant crisis, but are dismissive of taking further legislative action before the end of session. Senate Democrats also pushed back on Republicans' proposed legislation, saying they didn't vote for the budget that provided the funding to assist.

"We are continuing to monitor this situation very closely," Michael Whyland, spokesman for Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie said.