MIDTOWN, Manhattan (WABC) — The street behind the Roosevelt Hotel in Midtown was filled with parked mopeds and motorcycles Wednesday night – an indication that migrants are working, whether they’re authorized or not.
Expediting work authorization is one way New York City Mayor Eric Adams wants the federal government to help.
Those working are less likely to need the expensive emergency shelter past their 30- or 60-day limit.
“You can’t come to this city and expect that as long as you want to stay here, you can stay here on taxpayer’s dime forever, and that’s what the 30 days and the 60 days is all about,” said Mayor Adams.
After their time is up, migrants can re-apply for shelter. They usually aren’t denied, since the mayor says the goal is for no one to sleep on the streets or in police precincts like they have in other cities that are overwhelmed with new arrivals.
On Thursday, Adams and the mayors of Denver, Chicago, Los Angeles and Houston will be together asking the White House and Congress for more support.
“We’ve specifically asked Congress for almost $1.5 billion in additional grant funding to support local communities,” said Deputy White House Press Secretary Emilie Simons on Wednesday.
The White House responded to questions about the latest calls for help from cities, saying the Department of Homeland is working on quicker work permits.
“Since last month, DHS has taken steps to reduce the average processing time for certain migrants to just 30 days,” said Simons.
As this city continues to struggle to shelter migrants, a shelter at the federally controlled Floyd Bennet Field is preparing to welcome 500 migrants. But with questions about its safety, no one has moved in yet.
This is just one of the current challenges in the crisis, with the bigger question of just how much the city will end up on the hook for.
“I do not see the ending if the federal government does not take action,” said Adams.
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