Forty New York state lawmakers on Thursday released a letter to President Joe Biden urging him to back an expedited process to allow migrants with asylum status to work.
The letter echoes calls from congressional lawmakers who represent New York in Washington as well as Gov. Kathy Hochul amid an influx of migrants to New York.
Currently, migrants with asylum status must wait 180 days to be permitted to work. New York officials want that waiting period significantly narrowed to about a month.
"With local governments across the state responding to this crisis, altering the 180-day requirement via Executive Order would provide much needed relief to businesses, fill worker shortages, and provide a source of income to the thousands of families and individuals now residing in New York," the letter, released by Assemblywoman Pat Fahy's office, stated.
The letter also comes as state and local officials are grappling with where to house thousands of migrants who are coming into the state following the expiration of a pandemic-era immigration regulation.
Multiple counties have approved emergency orders meant to bar migrants from staying in hotels and motels in their communites in recent days.
The letter released Thursday includes a mix of downstate and upstate Democratic members of the Legislature.
"By allowing asylum seekers to work and utilize their skills and talents, we can harness their potentialand foster economic growth in our communities and address immediate needs," the lawmakers wrote. "Asylumseekers also undergo rigorous security clearance procedures with U.S. Citizenship andImmigration Services before their application for asylum is accepted and may proceed."