New York Immigrant Jobs Plan No Help For Unemployed Citizens

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul announced a jobs program on August 24 that aims to connect employers with immigrants who have flocked to the state. The program does not offer any help for the estimated 380,000 New York citizens who are currently unemployed.

Hochul explained that the program offers a method for asylum seekers to become eligible to work in a post on X after announcing the new program. She used the opportunity to request additional aid from the Biden Administration but made no mention of aid for low-income or unemployed citizens.

A press release from the Governor’s office claims the state has committed $1.5 billion this year to prop up New York City through funding for health care, shelter costs, National Guard personnel, legal services, and voluntary relocation programs. The new program will provide an additional $20 million in funding. Hochul anticipates needing an additional investment next year that could reach $4.5 billion.

New York City Mayor Eric Adams said that the city will require $12 billion to provide services for the tide of migrants and asylum seekers coming into the city. Adams said that the city sheltered more than 100,000 immigrants in 2022.

Among the goals laid out by Hochul and Adams are housing options that could include opening hotels, schools, and federal property as shelter spaces. Republicans have repeatedly pushed back against the policy and have called for greater transparency of the accounting for funds spent by the state. State Sen. Rob Ortt has been one of the most vocal critics of New York immigration policies, particularly efforts by the state to speed up the process of certifying immigrants for work.

Ortt said in a May 2023 press release that his concerns about speeding up work authorization revolve around the difficulty of ensuring that immigrants are not dangerous. Republicans in the State Senate recently introduced a bill that would prevent the state from housing migrants on State University of New York campuses which have been targeted by Hochul and Democrats in the state as potential shelters.

Hochul is requesting additional aid from the Federal Government, including funding to compensate the state for paying National Guard troops who are deployed to help manage the influx of asylum seekers and immigrants seeking jobs. New York claims to be spending $22 million per month to pay guardsmen who are assisting with humanitarian aid.