Mayors want work permits extended to keep migrants employed, receive new asylum seekers

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More than 40 mayors and region executives from astir nan state are calling connected nan national authorities to widen activity authorizations for illegal migrants, saying that without nan measures thousands will suffer their jobs, businesses will suffer and districts will find it harder to cater to caller asylum seekers.

The elected officials – which see New York City Mayor Eric Adams and Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson – wrote a missive connected Monday to Department of Homeland Security Secretary (DHS) Alejandro Mayorkas and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Director Ur Jaddou, calling for automatic extensions for existing activity permits of astatine slightest 540 days.

Historically, migrants person been granted a 180-day grace play if their Employment Authorization Document (EAD) renewal exertion is still pending.

In 2022, USCIS extended nan 180-day grace play to 540 days owed to lengthy processing delays. 

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That hold expired connected Oct. 26 and now nan mayors are requesting a "permanent automatic hold of activity authorization" successful nan shape of an interim last norm that extends activity permits for 540 days aliases longer. 

"Without this, hundreds of thousands of migrant workers will suffer their activity authorization, businesses will suffer staff, and our cities and counties will look an expanding situation to supply shelter to nan public," nan mayors and region executives wrote. 

"If DHS does not reside this impending crisis, section economies will suffer further harm successful nan look of ample occupation losses."

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The signees wrote that section businesses are still struggling to reside nan existent labour shortage and cannot grip further disruptions to their operations by losing migrant workers. 

"We are concerned that nan lengthy delays successful adjudicating renewal applications for activity authorization person not improved."

They wrote that arsenic of June 2023, location were astir 263,000 EAD renewal applications pending. 

Given these delays, they wrote, hundreds of thousands of immigrants will apt acquisition a lapse successful their activity authorization successful nan coming months. 

"As a result, cities and counties are bracing for akin events to transpire, and we are already proceeding from businesses who whitethorn soon beryllium forced to laic disconnected their workers until their renewed EADs arrive."

The officials besides wrote that if extensions are not granted it will "significantly effect our expertise to person recently arrived asylum seekers."

"Cities and counties crossed nan United States are quickly moving retired of shelter space. If hundreds of thousands of already-employed immigrants suffer their jobs, they are apt to suffer their homes, and this will consequence successful cities and counties experiencing moreover greater trouble providing shelter abstraction and further services to nan public," nan missive reads.

"If DHS does not instrumentality a imperishable alteration to nan automatic extension, immoderate impermanent hold should beryllium for a play of nary little than 3 years, to let capable clip for USCIS to activity done nan extended activity licence renewal backlog. We inquire that you enactment swiftly truthful that nan communities we correspond do not acquisition nan destabilizing effects of migrant workers falling retired of nan workforce."

The signees are portion of a group called nan Cities For Action (C4A), made up of astir 180 U.S. mayors and region executives who advocator for "humane migration policies that fortify their cities and bespeak nan nation’s values of inclusion and opportunity."

Adams, who has criticized nan national government’s response to nan crisis, saying it would destruct New York City, said nan migrants person a correct to activity successful nan Big Apple. At slightest 170,000 forbidden migrants person arrived successful New York since nan outpouring of 2022.

"New York City thrives connected nan divers and dedicated contributions of these organization members and stripping group of their correct to activity is simply un-American," Adams said successful a connection accompanying nan letter.  

"I'm hopeful nan national authorities acts swiftly to protect nan stableness and information of hundreds of thousands of migrant workers and their families."

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Meanwhile, Denver Mayor Mike Johnston, who past week announced cuts to nationalist services to thief money nan costs of his city’s migrant crisis, besides signed nan letter. About 40,000 migrants, mostly from Venezuela, person arrived in Denver over nan past year, and much than 3,500 are surviving successful city-funded edifice rooms, according to nan Colorado Sun.

"Over nan past fewer weeks, Denver has seen record-high numbers of migrants arriving successful our city, and very fewer person nan expertise to activity and make a surviving for their families," said Johnston. 

"This has created simultaneous humanitarian and fiscal crises for our city, forcing america to look astatine important fund cuts and simplification successful services. We cognize that nan expertise for migrants to activity is captious to Denver’s success, and it is imperative that DHS return contiguous action to forestall moreover much migrants from losing their activity authorization."