Democratic officials in New York got a long-sought win Wednesday, with the White House granting Temporary Protected Status to many of the migrants who have surged into the city and state.
Officials say the decision will allow many asylum seekers to obtain work permits and soon.
“I’m very happy that the Biden administration has taken this step,” Brooklyn and Manhattan Rep. Dan Goldman said.
What You Need To Know
- It “certainly doesn't fully resolve the crisis. But I really think this is going to have a real impact," said Rep. Pat Ryan of the updated TPS designation for Venezuelans
- Rep. Dan Goldman said he wants to see Congress pass additional funding to help New York. He also wants the president to expand the TPS designation further to include more migrants from other nations
- Meanwhile, Republican Rep. Marc Molinaro warned the administration’s decision will “make the crisis worse” by encouraging more Venezuelans to cross the border illegally
It “certainly doesn’t fully resolve the crisis. But I really think this is going to have a real impact not just for asylum seekers, but also for our economy,” said Hudson Valley Rep. Pat Ryan.
The White House announced Wednesday that it is expanding eligibility for TPS for Venezuelans to include those who arrived in the United States by July 31 of this year.
That group is expected to include tens of thousands in New York. Recent data showed about four in 10 asylum seekers in the city are from Venezuela.
Temporary Protected Status is granted to those fleeing countries considered unsafe.
Migrants benefiting from TPS can more quickly access work permits, enabling them — it is hoped — to obtain housing and move out of shelters. As a result, Democrats argue, the financial burden on the government will be reduced.
For months, Democrats have railed against the months-long wait period required for migrants to obtain work authorization. Back in June, Goldman sent a letter to President Joe Biden pitching this TPS idea.
“Certainly, we would have liked for them to heed the call sooner,” Goldman said. “This will help to not only integrate them and assimilate them into the community in New York City, as so many immigrant communities have done, but will allow them to get their own housing, to build their own lives, to pay taxes.”
Hakeem Jeffries, a Brooklyn congressman who is the top Democrat in the U.S. House, called the move a positive step forward.
“But we’re going to have to make sure that the implementation in New York City proceeds in a thorough fashion. And that’s been my message to both Gov. Hochul and Mayor Adams,” he said.
Republican Rep. Marc Molinaro warned the administration’s decision will “make the crisis worse” by encouraging more Venezuelans to cross the border illegally.
“What I’ve been saying is you cannot appropriately vet migrants, provide compassionate care, or have an orderly naturalization process when the border is wide open,” Molinaro said in a statement. “There needs to be an emergency declaration, more resources at the border, and enhancements made to the asylum process so we can conduct necessary background checks.”
For his part, Goldman dismissed the suggestion TPS would incentivize more migrants to come, noting that the designation as outlined only applies to migrants already in the U.S. by the July 31 cutoff.
Goldman and other Democrats, meanwhile, say the work is not done.
Goldman said he wants to see Congress pass additional funding to help communities like New York. He also wants the president to expand the TPS designation further to include more migrants from other nations.
“We will continue to talk to the administration about designating or re-designating additional countries in Central and South America whose governments are failing, who are being overtaken by criminal gangs,” he said.
In his June letter, Goldman specifically mentioned migrants from El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua.