City Council leaders back Mayor Adams push to put migrants to work in NYC

City Council Speaker Adrienne Adams and Manhattan Councilwoman Gale Brewer are backing Mayor Eric Adams’ urgent request to get asylum seekers working — and say they’ll press Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand to get it done. 

Brewer penned a letter asking Schumer, Gillibrand and all the members of New York City’s congressional delegation to work their contacts at the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services to approve an emergency measure that would expedite processing times for employment authorization applications submitted by asylum seekers. 

If green-lit, the measure could permit an eligible portion of the roughly 10,000 migrants that have come to the Big Apple from the southern border to work.

“We write to urge your support in requesting that United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) expedite processing times for applications for employment authorization (Form I-765) for individuals seeking asylum,” writes Brewer, Speaker Adams and five other members of the City Council in the letter, which will be sent on Thursday. 

City Council Speaker Adrienne Adams
City Council Speaker Adrienne Adams supports the mayor’s effort to get migrants jobs.

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Nearly 10,000 migrants arrived to New York seeking a new life.

migrants
The measure would allow an eligible migrants from the southern border to work.

“Local nonprofit providers and community based organizations are reporting processing times of six to 12 months for these applications. There is a significant backlog of applications for employment authorization and the agency must clear it.”

Right now, migrants seeking permission to work in the United States have to apply for employment authorization with the USCIS — a process that should take roughly six months after an individual files their asylum application. 

There was a federal rule that said applications must be processed within 30 days, but in Aug. 2020 that month-long window was waived. Brewer told The Post the lack of expediency forces migrants who are ready, willing and able to work to needlessly sit in limbo. 

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Migrants arrived to Port Authority in bus loads.

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Migrants seeking permission to work in the United States have to apply for employment authorization with the USCIS.

The letter, a copy of which was obtained by The Post, comes on the heels of Mayor Eric Adams’ request Tuesday for the federal government to cut red tape and grant working papers to individuals so they don’t have to be dependent on the taxpayer dime. 

“Every single restaurant, retail and construction needs people to work and these folks are willing to work! This is an extraordinary group of people and they could get back on their feet quickly,” Brewer told The Post in a phone interview.

“Increasing efficiency and reducing the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) backlog is going to be critical in reducing processing time for those applying for work permits,” said Gillibrand in a statement provided to The Post.

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand
Brewer penned a letter asking Gillibrand and all the members of New York City’s congressional delegation in hopes of expediting expedite processing times for employment authorization applications.
ZUMAPRESS.com/Michael Brochstein
United States Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer
The letter also addressed Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer.
Rod Lamkey/CNP / MEGA

“This is why I fight to increase funding for USCIS in the annual appropriations process. It is critical that USCIS is fully funded so that the agency is able to address staffing shortages and have the capacity to process applications in a timely manner.

A rep for Schumer didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

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