City Council Speaker Adrienne Adams and Manhattan City Councilwoman Gale Brewer are backing Mayor Eric Adams’ urgent call for asylum seekers to work — and say they will lobby Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand to make it happen.
Brewer drafted a letter asking Schumer, Gillibrand and all members of the New York City Congressional delegation to work with their contacts at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to approve an emergency measure which would speed up processing times for applications for employment authorization submitted by asylum seekers.
If lit green, the measure could allow some eligible portion of the roughly 10,000 migrants who have come to the Big Apple from the southern border to work.
“We are writing to ask for your support in requesting that United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) expedite processing times for Employment Authorization (Form I-765) applications for individuals requesting asylum,” Brewer, Speaker Adams and five other City Council members wrote in the letter, which will be sent Thursday.
“Local non-profit providers and community organizations are reporting processing times of six to 12 months for these applications. There is a significant backlog of applications for employment authorization and the agency must eliminate it.
Currently, migrants applying for permission to work in the United States must apply for employment authorization from USCIS – a process that is expected to take about six months after an individual files their application. ‘asylum.
There was a federal rule that said applications had to be processed within 30 days, but in August 2020 that one-month window was removed. Brewer told the Post that the lack of opportunism forces migrants who are ready, willing and able to work to sit unnecessarily in limbo.
The letter, a copy of which was obtained by The Post, follows Mayor Eric Adams’ call on Tuesday for the federal government to cut red tape and grant work papers to individuals so they don’t have to depend on the taxpayer. dime.
“Every restaurant, retail and construction business needs people to work and these people are ready to work! It’s an amazing group of people and they could get back on their feet quickly,” Brewer told The Post in a phone interview.
“Increasing efficiency and reducing the backlog at United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will be key to reducing the processing time for work permit applications,” Gillibrand said in a statement provided to The Post.
“That’s why I am fighting to increase funding for USCIS through the annual appropriations process. It is essential that USCIS be fully funded so that the agency is able to meet the staffing shortages and has the ability to process requests in a timely manner.
A representative for Schumer did not immediately respond to a request for comment.