Gov. Kathy Hochul has now joined Mayor Eric Adams and others in demanding President Joe Biden fast-track work permits for the tens of thousands of “asylum seekers” swamping the city.
Sorry: That’s no answer to the illegal-migrant crisis, for a host of practical and principled reasons; fact is, it’s just a red herring.
All it does is give the gov and mayor something politically safe to demand of the prez now that it’s blatantly obvious he won’t deliver anything like the billions in emergency aid that they’ve been calling for.
That lets them avoid pushing for the only thing the administration could and should do to stop the endless inflow — namely, stop letting them into the country in the first place.
For starters, federal law says “seekers” can’t apply for work permits until six months after they’ve filed their initial asylum request, and it takes at least another two months to get the work OK — a delay that’ll surely grow now that millions more are trying.
Are Adams and Hochul asking for our migrants to jump to the head of line? Even if Biden could do that, it’d rightly infuriate every other part of the nation grappling with the same issues.
More, it would vastly increase the numbers coming to Gotham: Word would go out instantly that you should come to New York City — it not only guarantees free shelter but also rapid access to legal work papers.
Heck, if Biden found a way to utterly ignore the law and start handing out such permits like candy nationwide with no review at all, the flow into the country would double overnight.
Not to mention that it’s just wrong: As our Douglas Murray notes, it’d be a slap in the face to all the folks who’ve spent years patiently winning the right to come here legally and then to work legally.
More perversity: The delay in processing asylum requests now stretches beyond four years. So any “seeker” who does get a work permit is looking at three-plus years of “legal work” before facing any risk of deportation.
Yet 90%-plus of the “seekers” will never qualify for asylum: They have no real case for it under the law; they’re only saying they intend to seek asylum because they’ve learned that those magic words will likely get them waved across the border.
Speeding up work papers would only add to the attraction, pumping the numbers who come and apply for asylum — and thereby increasing the delay in resolving the claim from four years to five and then 10 and then effectively infinity.
Not that most who are denied asylum then leave on their own: Among other disasters, this road leads to a fast-growing population of people existing “in the dark,” knowing they’re eligible for deportation if they come to the attention of any authority.
Plus, such folks will inevitably flock to cities and states (like New York) that have declared themselves “sanctuaries,” meaning police and so on won’t flag them to anyone who would try to deport them.
Nor will Congress change the law in the direction Adams, Hochul, etc. want: That’s been off the table even when Democrats control both the House and Senate, even with super-majorities.
Fact is, the closest any New York Democrat has come to pointing to a real answer is the mayor’s occasional call for a “decompression strategy,” which is implicitly about closing the border to illegal entry for at least a little while.
And Biden won’t do that because it would put the lie to his claims that he’s already done all he legally can.
The truth is that he and Homeland Security chief Alejandro Mayorkas are stretching the law as far as they can to wave people in, while playing games to report fewer illegal entries in hopes that their media enablers will play along.
Biden’s next likely move is to extend the Temporary Protected Status program to admit nationals from more countries with instant legal-work rights.
That’ll give Adams and Hochul some of what they’ve been asking for — at the price of deepening the city’s crisis, since even legally working migrants can still demand free shelter, health care and so on.
Adams might relieve some pressure by junking the city’s “right to shelter,” but Hochul fears his court efforts to do that will only wind up making it a statewide right.
New York’s only real hope is for Washington to get the border truly under control; Adams and Hochul know that, they just don’t dare say it — so instead they’re “showing leadership” by wasting everyone’s time with the work-permit red herring.
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