NY Gov. Hochul Deploys National Guard to Address New York’s Illegal Immigration Crisis

Kathy Hochul speaks during the Maimonides Visit | Source: commons.wikimedia.org

New York Governor Kathy Hochul has announced the deployment of the National Guard to assist in managing the illegal immigration crisis in the state.

Speaking at a press conference on September 25 in New York City, Hochul revealed that she has ordered 150 members of the National Guard to support case management operations aimed at granting work permits to asylum seekers and alleviating overcrowding in the city’s shelters.

With the additional deployment, the total number of National Guard members involved in addressing the crisis will reach 2,200. Hochul emphasized the dual challenges of the migrant crisis and the shortage of workers in the state’s economy. She stated that New York currently has near-record low unemployment rates and around 400,000 job openings across various sectors, but there is a lack of available workers to fill these positions.

Hochul commended federal initiatives allowing more asylum seekers to apply for Temporary Protected Status (TPS), which offers protection from deportation and the opportunity to work legally. The Biden administration recently announced that nearly half a million Venezuelans, including those who entered the country illegally, would be eligible to file for TPS. Out of the 2,200 National Guard members involved in addressing the crisis, 250 will focus on case management specifically for assisting Venezuelans in applying for TPS and finding lawful employment.

During her speech at the 369th Regiment Armory in New York City, Hochul expressed the importance of work authorization for asylum seekers, describing it as their “ticket to the American dream.” She acknowledged the need to help them secure jobs, leave overcrowded shelters, and support themselves.

Hochul highlighted the National Guard’s ongoing efforts to assess individuals residing in New York’s overwhelmed shelters. She noted that different categories of people are eligible to work, depending on factors such as their entry method and parole status. She also called for an expansion of the TPS program to enable more asylum seekers to gain employment, emphasizing the significance of both job opportunities and increased border controls to address the issue effectively.

While seeking federal help and additional resources, Hochul acknowledged the challenges associated with securing funding through the Congressional appropriations process. She stressed the urgency of the situation, highlighting the strain on New York City’s shelter system and the need for financial support.

The deployment of additional National Guard members aims to reduce the number of individuals occupying the overcrowded shelters, which currently house approximately 60,000 people. Hochul’s administration is actively seeking solutions to provide compassionate care to those arriving while facilitating a swift transition out of the shelter system.

In recent interviews, Hochul has expressed support for New York City Mayor Eric Adams’ proposal to suspend the city’s right-to-shelter law in response to the influx of illegal immigrants. The governor believes that temporarily pausing the decades-old mandate would be a necessary measure in addressing the current crisis.