On Monday, New York’s Democratic Governor Kathy Hochul unveiled a plan to offer 18,000 jobs to qualified asylum seekers and immigrants. This initiative comes as New York City experiences an influx of over 125,000 individuals.
Governor Hochul stated that the New York Department of Labor discovered 18,000 vacant positions across 379 businesses in the state. These businesses have pinpointed roles suitable for those with legal work permits, a project that began on August 24.
The data provided by the governor’s office highlights that 24% of these job opportunities are in the accommodation and food services sectors, spanning 90 companies. Healthcare and social assistance roles comprise 21% of the vacancies and are available at 79 firms. Manufacturing offers 10% of the job openings across 38 companies, while administrative support has 8% of the positions with 29 firms involved.
Addressing the media, Hochul emphasized the unsustainability of 125,000 individuals relying on public resources and not working. She encouraged more businesses to participate in the initiative and also expressed her hope for Washington and Congress to expand work permits for more asylum seekers from diverse regions.
The job openings correlate with Mayor Eric Adams’ strategy to distribute the strain across New York City. These opportunities aren’t just confined to the city, they extend to the Capital Region, central region, Finger Lakes, Hudson Valley, Long Island, Mohawk Valley, North Country, Southern Tier, and the Western Region.
Of the total, New York City has 9,801 job slots for eligible asylum seekers. However, 2,896 jobs are available in Hudson Valley and 1,294 on Long Island, even with some local opposition to Mayor Adams’ relocation plans.
Rep. Elise Stefanik, the House GOP Chair from New York, expressed concern about the strategy’s potential implications on border security, accusing Governor Hochul of promoting unauthorized immigration and calling for stronger border policies.
Governor Hochul commended the recent measures from the Biden administration that granted temporary protective status and fast-tracked work permits for Venezuelans, estimating this would benefit over 15,000 Venezuelans in New York City.
She underscored the significance of this decision, noting that 40% of the migrants who braved challenging terrains to reach New York were from Venezuela. However, by her estimates, about 60% of the newcomers hail from countries other than Venezuela. To address the continuing migrant situation, Hochul has also enlisted 250 National Guard members to provide case management services for asylum seekers. This move is part of deploying over 2,100 National Guard personnel to manage the situation.