New York City Mayor Eric Adams, along with city and union leaders, business leaders, and the governor of New York, pressed the Biden administration to expedite work permits and other types of aid for an estimated 100,000 migrants transported to the city from the southern U.S. border. 

The New York City Council released a statement: “As an increasing number of people seeking asylum in the United States arrive in our city, it is critical that they be permitted to work legally to support themselves, their families, and our city. People seeking asylum can contribute immensely to our economy, and it is imperative that we facilitate this outcome.” New York Governor Kathy Hochul met with senior administration officials to discuss the situation and request expedited work authorization and funding for related costs. 

The Biden administration has assessed that “a substantial number of recent migrants who arrived in New York City are currently work eligible but have not yet applied to get a work permit.” The administration plans to work with New York State and New York City in September “on a month of action to help close the gap between noncitizens who are eligible for work authorization and those who have applied, to meet labor needs in New York.” The administration said individuals “will receive direct communication by SMS and email, in English, Spanish, Haitian Creole, and other languages. This effort will include sending teams working across several lines of effort to support eligible migrants to apply for work authorizations.” 

On August 31, 2023, the administration sent reminders via text and email to thousands of eligible migrants across the United States to apply for work authorization. “You are receiving this message because you were paroled into the U.S. You can apply for a work permit online,” one notice states. A notification for asylum-seekers says, “You are receiving this message because you applied for asylum and might soon be eligible to apply for a work permit.” A Department of Homeland Security (DHS) spokesperson confirmed that DHS has “launched a first-of-its-kind national campaign for noncitizens who are work-eligible but have not yet applied for employment authorization.”

An open letter that business leaders—including CEOs of many major corporations—sent August 28, 2023, to President Biden and congressional leaders said, “We write to support the request made by New York Governor Hochul for federal funding for educational, housing, security, and health care services to offset the costs that local and state governments are incurring with limited federal aid. In addition, there is a compelling need for expedited processing of asylum applications and work permits for those who meet federal eligibility standards.”

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