TONAWANDA, N.Y. -- Gov. Kathy Hochul announced Tuesday she is allocating $36 million to support migrant case management programs in upstate New York.

"I am grateful to counties like Erie and Monroe and Albany County and many others that have stepped up to help welcome these individuals, let them be part of the community and the second they can work, they are now contributing," she said.

Hochul said the money should speed up the process of getting people legal work status and help the state and organizations working with asylees track their needs. The governor said there is an opportunity to address a severe shortage of workers in fields like agriculture and hospitality.

"Our Department of Labor has so many employers on a list waiting to take them to work, restaurants, hotels ready to put them in training programs," he said.

The announcement comes as a Siena College poll shows 82% of New Yorkers believe the recent influx of migrants to the state is a serious problem and 52% said it's a very serious problem.

"I understand the feelings of people living in our communities. There is a fear of the unknown. What does this mean? Are the numbers going to increase? Can we handle this. That is real for our residents and I want to assure them that we are working very hard so they can have the same right to work that immigrants who came before them had," Hochul said.

A majority of voters in the Siena poll disapprove of how the governor is addressing crime and the migrant influx. Both her favorability and approval ratings are at an all-time low but Hochul said she doesn't pay much attention to the political numbers.

"It has no impact on how I do my job because I get up every single day and focus on three things: How to make New York more affordable, how to make it more liveable and how to make it safer. Everything I focus on falls under that umbrella," she said.

Currently, the governor said about 500 migrants from New York City have been sheltered in Western New York.