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Hochul meets White House officials over migrant issues

Aug 31, 2023 12:57 pm

Brendan J. Lyons reports in the Times Union that Gov. Kathy Hochul went to the White House Aug. 30 to talk with President Joe Biden’s chief of staff, Jeff Zients, about the migrants other state's have been busing to New York. Recently, Hochul, New York City Mayor Eric Adams, and White House officials have pointed at each other, discussing blame for how the issue has been handled. And Hochul said last week, “We cannot and will not force other parts of our state to shelter migrants,” despite the Statue of Liberty in the New York harbor welcoming migrants to the state and the country. U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro N. Mayorkas suggested three sites in Schenectady County and the remote Massena International Airport in St. Lawrence County, near the Canadian border, as places to house migrants, in an Aug. 27 letter. Rep. Elise Stefanik, did not like that, saying, “Upstate New York and the North Country is not a 'sanctuary city.... We should not have to bear the cost of Joe Biden, Kathy Hochul, and Eric Adams' far left open border policies and the havoc they are causing. … I call on President Biden to end his radical open border policies and secure our northern and southern borders.” In reality, Biden's border policy is not very different from the former Republican president's policy. About Hochul's main request, to let the migrants work, Mayorkas said there are “statutory constraints” that prevent individuals who have applied for asylum to get work authorization in the U.S. any earlier. Mayorkas said, “We are exploring all options available to improve operational efficiency, including through additional staffing and technology improvements to streamline case processing, as well as improved methods of communicating information about the employment authorization process with noncitizens." Read more about this story in the Times Union.

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