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New York City Increases Aid to Asylum Seekers Amidst Significant Budget Cuts Due to Ongoing Crisis

Credit: DepositPhotos

New York City has announced plans to expand assistance to asylum seekers in order to aid them in completing their applications for asylum, work authorization, and other necessary programs. This move comes as the city continues to grapple with a migrant crisis that has resulted in substantial budget cuts.

Mayor Eric Adams revealed the expansion of the Asylum Application Help Center, which now allows undocumented immigrants to apply for asylum, Temporary Protected Status (TPS), and work authorization, if eligible.

To accommodate the increased demand, the city will establish two satellite sites with the aid of state funding. Migrants can now schedule one-on-one appointments at these locations to receive personalized support from trained staff members.

New York City has been facing a migrant crisis, with Mayor Adams warning that it could potentially “destroy” the city. While the 140,000 migrants the city has encountered since last year represent only a fraction of the total number of migrants encountered at the border since 2021, the influx has overwhelmed the city’s social services, leaving officials calling for increased assistance from the federal government.

To date, the city has successfully processed 7,200 asylum applications, over 2,900 work authorizations, and 2,900 TPS applications. Temporary Protected Status allows individuals from specific countries to be shielded from deportation and apply for work permits if their country is designated for TPS by the federal government.

Recently, the Biden administration granted TPS to Venezuela, protecting nearly 500,000 migrants.

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Furthermore, the city has established a Resettlement Working Group that aims to collaborate with leaders of cities dealing with significant influxes of asylum seekers, as well as cities facing labor shortages. This group’s objective is to facilitate the relocation of migrants out of New York City and into other parts of the country.

Credit: DepositPhotos

Mayor Adams continues to place blame on the federal government for the ongoing crisis, despite the funding the city has already received and the efforts made by the administration to expedite work permit approvals.

In a statement, Adams expressed his hope that the federal government would join the city’s efforts and fulfill their part in addressing the crisis.

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The recent expansion of assistance comes in the wake of extensive budget cuts across various departments, including education, policing, and sanitation. Mayor Adams attributes these cuts to the city’s expenditure of $1.45 billion in fiscal 2023 and an anticipated $11 billion in 2024 and 2025 on the migrant crisis.

As a result, the New York Police Department will halt hiring in order to reduce their workforce to below 30,000 by the end of fiscal year 2025, down from over 33,000. Education programs, including universal pre-kindergarten, will experience significant reductions as well.

These budget cuts sparked outrage among the city’s teachers and police unions, although Mayor Adams has consistently directed their anger toward the federal government. He has emphasized that New Yorkers should voice their concerns to Washington, D.C., asserting that the city deserves better.

The Biden administration has countered these criticisms by highlighting the over $770 million provided in support to communities accommodating migrants over the past year, as well as the recommendations put forth by their expert teams. Additionally, personnel have been deployed to aid in the authorization of work permits and educate migrants on the immigration system.

In a separate development, the White House has requested $14 billion in emergency funding for border operations, which includes an additional $1.4 billion in grants to assist local governments and nonprofits.

Mayor Adams recently warned that the ongoing crisis may soon spill out onto the streets of New York City. He stated that there are migrants and asylum seekers expressing their desire to sleep on the streets, asserting that due to recent actions by the city council, individuals have the right to do so, a situation that cannot be prevented. The mayor wants New Yorkers to understand this reality.

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