Tensions are brewing between President Biden and Democrats from blue states as they grapple with an influx of migrants flowing from Republican-controlled border states. New York City Mayor Eric Adams and Governor Kathy Hochul, along with leaders from other deep-blue cities like Chicago and Boston, have voiced their concerns and criticized the Biden administration for its handling of the situation.
Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois revealed that he had reached out to President Biden months ago, urging him to take more decisive action in response to the crisis. Business leaders in New York City also penned an open letter to Biden and Congress, calling for additional federal funding to support migrant care and alleviate the financial burden on local and state governments.
One of the primary requests from blue state Democrats is for President Biden to expedite work permits for migrants, allowing them to support themselves rather than relying on city and state resources while living in shelters. Massachusetts Governor Maura Healey declared a state of emergency on immigration in August, echoing the concerns of Hochul and other blue state leaders.
While the Biden administration has taken steps to streamline the permitting process for some migrants, it falls short of addressing the challenges faced by cities like New York City and Chicago. Migrants who enter the U.S. illegally are typically not allowed to work immediately. However, if they apply for asylum, they may become eligible to work after a waiting period. Migrants paroled into the U.S. through various means can also apply for work permits during their parole period.
Despite these measures, Mayor Adams and Governor Hochul are seeking a federal emergency declaration that would not only provide additional funding but also expand permitting to a larger number of migrants. They argue that allowing migrants the right to work is in line with American traditions and can help address the current overflow crisis while providing much-needed funding to tackle the issue effectively.