New York Governor Kathy Hochul tells migrants to ‘go somewhere else’

New York’s focus is to ‘get people out of the shelters and into jobs,’ the Democratic governor said

Kelly Rissman
Thursday 21 September 2023 15:20 EDT
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New York Governor Kathy Hochul told migrants to “go somewhere else,” as the city is strained to provide shelter for migrants.

The Democratic governor sat down for an interview on CNN Primetime in the wake of the Biden administration’s decision to grant Temporary Protected Status to nearly half a million Venezuelan migrants who came to the US on or before 31 July, allowing them to work in the country.

She said Mr Biden had a “good approach,” and praised the president for “having a limit” in imposing the 31 July cutoff.

“Places like New York really are at capacity. We have large hearts, we want to be generous and supportive to people who are experiencing a humanitarian crisis. But there is a limit to what we can do,” Ms Hochul said.

Gov Hochul said this policy “certainly will” have an impact in New York City, as 41 per cent of those in migrant shelters in the city are from Venezuela.

“But we have to let the word out that when you come to New York, we’re not going to have more hotel rooms,” she cautioned. “We don’t have capacity.” The governor emphasized that New York has to message properly since the city is at the limit: “If you’re going to leave your country, go somewhere else.”

Ms Hochul said, “the smarter thing is to apply for asylum before you leave your country, and then you’ll have a different experience when you arrive.”

New York, she said, is focused on trying to “get people out of the shelters and into jobs.”

Then Ms Hochul was asked about the city’s “right to shelter,” she said she would support a suspension on the mandate.

“The original premise behind the right to shelter was…for homeless men on the streets, people who are experiencing AIDS. Then it was expanded to families. That is the right thing to do,” explained Ms Hochul. “But never was it envisioned that this would be an unlimited, universal right or obligation on the city to have to house literally the entire world.”

In a statement on Wednesday, Governor Hochul’s office wrote: “While waiting 180 days for legal work status, asylum seekers and migrants are unable to earn a paycheck or pay rent, leading to extended stays in publicly-funded shelters or hotels.” Ms Hochul emphasized, “Work authorization is the way out of the migrant crisis.”

In August, New York City officials said that the city has “provided shelter and care for more than 101,200 asylum seekers that have arrived in the five boroughs since April 2022.”

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