Mayor Adams pushes to expedite work permits for NYC migrants

NYC Mayor Eric Adams is doubling down on his push for the federal government to speed up work permits for more migrants.

"If you can work from Ukraine, then you should be able to work from South and Central America, and we call on that to take place," Adams said.


NYC hands out pre-paid credit cards for migrant families

On Monday the city began handing out debit cards to migrants to help pay for food and supplies.

Adams once again called for the federal government to expand temporary protected status to migrants from a wider range of countries so that they can get work permits faster.

Currently, migrants have to wait six months after applying for asylum before they can receive a work permit.

"The federal government must lead on this humanitarian crisis," Adams said.

NYC migrant crisis by the numbers

It’s been more than two years since a surge of migrants crossed the border into New York, and very little federal aid has been directed to NY to help with the migrant crisis. Since the spring of 2022, over 194,000 migrants have received care in New York. The city is still currently housing close to 66,000 migrants in its shelter system. Just last week, more than 1,500 migrants arrived in the Big Apple.

"At the heart of this is the right to work," Adams said. "People should have the right to provide for their families and continue to pursue the American dream."

There is still a 60-day shelter stay limit in place for migrant families and since many migrants don’t have the ability to work, some have taken to selling candy on the subway, including children.

Fliers posted outside shelters

The Adams administration is now posting fliers outside migrant shelters, explaining that selling items on the subway and streets is illegal and children should be in school.

But Kathryn Kliff, of the Legal Aid Society, says many of the families are desperate and since they are constantly moving around, keeping children in school can be challenging.

"We see families trying to do whatever they can to get by, and then they have to move every 60 days and they’re at high risk of losing whatever work they did find. So, it’s not surprising to see families do things like sell candy to get by."