Op-ed | Why asylum seekers need work authorization now


Since last year, tens of thousands of asylum seekers — adults as well as families with children — have fled dire conditions in their home countries and crossed the United States’ southern border in search of safety and a better life. Unlike previous groups of migrants and asylum seekers, the new arrivals are less likely to have a friend, family member, or sponsor to turn to for help. As a result, they are entirely dependent on the city to secure shelter, food, clothing, legal services, healthcare and more.

New York City has and always will be a city of immigrants and we are proud to have stepped up and mobilized multiple city agencies to swiftly meet the asylum seekers’ needs. But this puts a substantial drain on the city’s resources. We must be able to guide asylum seekers toward a path of self-sufficiency — and a key component of that path is work authorization.

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