City Council Speaker Adrienne Adams and Manhattan Councilwoman Gale Brewer support Mayor Eric Adams’ urgent request to let asylum seekers work — and say they will push Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand to get this done.
Brewer authored a letter urging Schumer, Gillibrand, and all members of the New York City congressional delegation to process their contacts with U.S. citizenship and immigration services to authorize an emergency measure to increase processing times for applications submitted by asylum seekers would accelerate to work permits.
If given the green light, the measure could allow a legitimate portion of the roughly 10,000 migrants who have entered the Big Apple from the southern border to work.
“We are writing to ask for your assistance in helping United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) expedite processing times for work permit applications (Form I-765) for asylum seekers,” write Brewer, Speaker Adams and five other City Council members in the letter, which will be mailed Thursday.
“Local nonprofit providers and community-based organizations report processing times of six to 12 months for these applications. There is a significant backlog of work permit applications and the agency needs to clear it.”
Right now, migrants seeking a work permit in the United States must apply for a work permit with USCIS — a process that should take about six months after a person files their asylum application.
There was a federal requirement for applications to be processed within 30 days, but as of August 2020, that one-month window was waived. Brewer told the Post the lack of convenience is forcing migrants who are ready, willing and able to work unnecessarily in limbo.
The letter, of which The Post obtained a copy, follows Mayor Eric Adams’ request on Tuesday for the federal government to cut red tape and grant individuals working papers so they don’t have to depend on taxpayer dime.
“Every single restaurant, retail and construction business needs people to work, and those people are willing to work! This is an extraordinary group of people and they could bounce back quickly,” Brewer told the Post in a phone interview.
“Increasing efficiency and reducing the backlog of United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will be critical to reducing processing time for those applying for work permits,” Gillibrand said in a statement provided to The Post.
“That’s why I’m fighting to increase funding for USCIS in the annual funding process. It is critical that USCIS is fully funded so that the agency can address staffing shortages and process applications in a timely manner.
A representative for Schumer did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
https://nypost.com/2022/09/14/city-council-leaders-back-mayor-adams-push-to-put-migrants-to-work-in-nyc/ City Council leaders support Mayor Adams’ push to employ migrants in NYC