Migrants entering New York should have expedited approval to gain employment while living in the state, Gov. Kathy Hochul on Monday said as the issue continues to roil all levels of government.
County leaders, meanwhile, urged state and federal officials to provide more resources as New York City Mayor Eric Adams continues to send more migrants north of the city to suburban communities.
Hochul, meanwhile, told reporters at an unrelated news conference she is yet to hear from the White House after requesting additional federal aid and emergency resources outlined in a letter sent Friday to President Joe Biden.
"I don't have a response yet," she said. "I think it's a very reasonable request to recognize it's a federal problem. There are federal facilities."
Hochul has already proposed using Floyd Bennett Field in Brooklyn as a potential site for housing migrants and wants the federal government to identify military sites for further resources.
The governor indicated she continued to back Adams' handling of the issue after the state included $1 billion in the budget to cover costs for housing and other resources.
"He has been struggling with this doing the best he can under difficult, difficult circumstances," she said.
Hochul called the issue a "humanitarian crisis" and added that in addition to funding, she wants migrants to be able to work. She has urged federal officials to waive a 150-day waiting period for people seeking asylum to gain work approval.
"It would be a game changer. These individuals may need a month or so in assisted housing, but all of a sudden they get that job, they get legitimacy, and they can find a path out of the shadows," Hochul said. "I think that's so critically important."
County governments, meanwhile, held a news conference on Monday raising concerns over the housing issues in their communities for migrants, beseeching federal officials for aid.
"This is a national security issue we find ourselves in," said Stephen Acquario, the executive director of the New York State Association of Counties.
Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente urged federal and state officials to step up. The Hochul administration, in particular, needs a plan, he said.
"That's why it's important for the governor and our leaders in Washington to address this in any way they can," Picente said.
State lawmakers, meanwhile, criticized the apparent lack of communication between local governments as they move migrants between cities and counties. Adams this month announced a voluntary, four-month program to move hundreds of migrants to Rockland and Orange counties, which has been met with a torrent of legal challenges and criticism from local officials.
Republican state Sens. Rob Rolison and Bill Weber in a letter to Hochul outlined a series of questions including the housing of veterans in Orange County who were apparently displaced as well as concerns over the timeline of obtaining resources from the state.
"To have New York City, state, and federal officials talking past each other is unacceptable and raises the odds of a humanitarian disaster involving hundreds, perhaps thousands, of human beings seeking opportunity and a better life," they wrote.