New York Governor Kathy Hochul has approved a controversial proposal that will make it easier for illegal immigrants to hold jobs in the state government.
The new proposal would require illegals to obtain legal work authorization from the federal government, however, other requirements would be eased for thousands of government jobs. The New York Department of Civil Service, for example, would relax English language proficiency requirements, as well as education verification and certification.
The positions would start off as temporary, but the proposal suggests the goal is that these become permanent jobs. Agencies can appoint migrants to a permanent role if their work is satisfactory and other requirements are met.
New York is the first state in the nation to make it easier for migrants to get these government jobs. Critics say the proposal will only incentivize more migrants to come to New York state, worsening the crisis. It will also likely feed into New Yorker’s concerns about migrants being prioritized over legal residents. Notably, since 2022, 170,000 migrants have arrived in New York City, causing backlash in the liberal area.
The proposal says the initiative is a “win-win” for the state, as it helps solve the “migrant crisis, and rebuild the state workforce.”
The proposal comes months after Hochul announced a partnership with employers in the state to get migrants to work. At the time, she said there were 18,000 jobs open for asylum seekers and migrants as part of her statewide “solution” to get them out of shelters.
“Now we have all these people who want to be here; I have all these jobs that are open,” the governor said at a press conference. “You marry the two together, and you’ve solved the problems.”
There are an estimated 436,000 unemployed New Yorkers currently, hovering at around 4.5% unemployment, which is one of the highest rates in the nation. New York also has the highest rate of homelessness in the country. Moreover, recent polling shows that a majority of New Yorkers view the influx of migrants as a “serious problem” and want to slow or stop the flow altogether.
In addition to this proposal, a migrant initiative at the behest of New York City Mayor Eric Adams is attracting critics. The city’s new pilot program, called the “Immediate Response Card” program, will hand out prepaid credit cards to illegals, costing taxpayers $53 million dollars.
Illegal immigrant families will be instructed to only use the cards at grocery stores, convenience stores, and supermarkets, and they’ll have to sign an affidavit promising to spend the funds only on food and baby supplies. Every 28 days, their cards will be refilled, and depending on the size of the family, they could receive up to $1,000 a month.