New York City Mayor Eric Adams this week called on the White House to speed up the process for migrants to get permission to work in the United States as the city deals with high unemployment and a sudden influx of itinerant workers.
A city hall official told the New York Post that Adams’ office has contacted the White House about cutting down on the typical six-month wait for employment authorization from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
"I think it’s imperative that we look at the employment," Adams told National Press Club President Jen Judson on Tuesday. "Think about this for a moment: We’re telling migrants and asylum seekers, 'You can come to the country but for six months you can’t work.' What? Six months you can’t work."
He added: "So six months you are having people who just sit idly by, waiting. So who’s supposed to pick up the tab for that? If the federal government is saying that for six months you can’t work, then the federal government should be saying for six months we [are] going to compensate you. Because someone has to pay for that."
Adams went on to note the large number of job openings in his city and others around the country. The Post reports that New York City’s unemployment rate stands at 6.1%, which is almost twice the national average, and a recent city council meeting declared that some city agencies have a vacancy rate of about 20%.
"The strange thing is, particularly in New York and across the country, there’s such a demand for, [a] need of employees. Many of my industries are dying to get employees," the mayor said.
"So if you are a nurse from Venezuela, why am I having you sit down and not be using your medical profession to help in the hospitals that we have a shortage of nurses?" he continued.
"If you are an engineer, we have a shortage of engineers. If you are a teacher, we have a shortage of teachers, bilingual teachers. So that six months delay is creating a bigger crisis."
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