September 21, 2023
Albany, NY

Audio & Rush Transcript: Governor Hochul is a Guest on Spectrum News NY1

Audio & Rush Transcript: Governor Hochul is a Guest on Spectrum News NY1

Governor Hochul: “I thank the President for answering our call for help. This is an important first step. We have other requests still out there. No doubt about it we’ll continue those conversations, but the state is committed to work with Mayor Adams to ensure that these people are connected to jobs as soon they legally are able to work.”

Hochul: “I already have volunteer workers from across the State of New York and 16 agencies that’re willing to join our National Guard and literally go to individuals, find out who's Venezuelan, find out who's eligible and help them. And this is something we’re coordinating closely with the City – we’ll be working with them starting tomorrow. And I’m really excited about this opportunity to start making dent in something that New Yorkers have been dealing with a long time.”

Last night, Governor Kathy Hochul was a guest on Spectrum News NY1 to discuss the ongoing asylum seeker crisis and the White House’s notice to grant work authorization and Temporary Protected Status for Venezuelan asylum seekers and migrants.

AUDIO of the event is available here.

A rush transcript of the Governor's remarks is available below:

Cheryl Wills, NY1: And let's bring Governor Kathy Hochul now. She's joining us by phone. Governor, thank you for your time tonight. We understand this TPS status that's being made available to Venezuelan migrants and asylum seekers is a result of your conversation with President Biden yesterday. Can you give us some insight into that conversation?

Governor Hochul: Well, this is something that the President knows we have been asking for back from July of 2022 between myself and Mayor Adams and Majority Leader Schumer and Senator Gillibrand, our delegation. We have all been working so hard to persuade the White House that these individuals who came to this country and are living in New York City shelters don't have to. They came here to work, and if we could find a path, particularly for the Venezuelans, which is about 40 percent of the population of our shelters. If they could get Temporary Protective Status that allows them to work after 30 days instead of after 180, we can start to clear out the shelters and give them the jobs and also serves the purpose of meeting this demand we have from Republicans in every corner of New York for more workers.

So, this is an important step. I thank the President for answering our call for help. This is an important first step. We have other requests still out there. No doubt about it we’ll continue those conversations, but the state is committed to work with Mayor Adams to ensure that these people are connected to jobs as soon they legally are able to work.

Cheryl Wills, NY1: Yeah, that leads me to my next question. How quickly do you want to see this take place?

Governor Hochul: This is for individuals from Venezuela, who are seeking asylum or are migrants and have come here before July 31st. So, there was a cutoff date and we're asking the federal government to surge up – and they have 50 people here to help us identify the eligible individuals and are working with the city. And as soon as they can apply, they can apply literally online, and it takes normally about six months to get approval – this will speed it up from long process to 30 days.

So, nothing will happen prior to 30 days, but we're starting to identify people immediately. And I already have volunteer workers from across the State of New York and 16 agencies that’re willing to join our National Guard and literally go to individuals, find out who's Venezuelan, find out who's eligible and help them. And this is something we’re coordinating closely with the City – we’ll be working with them starting tomorrow.

And I’m really excited about this opportunity to start making dent in something that New Yorkers have been dealing with a long time. And I want to make sure that we can ensure they're able to work. And we've been saying, “Get them to work, let them work.” This has been our rallying cry such a long time.

And the business community. Kathy Wylde and the Partnership stepped up. Our friends in labor have been extremely helpful all across New York. Many people just want them to be able to work and fill a huge void we have right now. And the fact that thousands and thousands of jobs, 460,000 jobs are unfilled in the State of New York right now. We have a low unemployment rate, one of the lowest in the nation. We have to have more workers, and this is going to be a very, very positive development for our state’s economy, for these individuals and our desire to start not opening more shelters but starting to shutdown shelters.

Cheryl Wills, NY1: And Governor, what's your message to the tens of thousands of asylum seekers and migrants who are not from Venezuela, who may be disappointed that they're not included?

Governor Hochul: Well, this is something that we're just happy to even get this foot in the door. We have been asking for a reduction in time for all the work status for everyone, but I will not look a gift horse in the mouth. This is an important first step, and to others that we have to let people know if you're thinking of coming to New York, we are truly out of space.

The Mayor has done an extraordinary job managing this crisis situation. We have been partners in helping him, but there must be other cities do not have upwards of 125,000 people, over 60,000 in shelters that can handle the volume easier in other states. And that's what we want to encourage – because this has a cutoff date. There's a time limit on it. So, the people that are here will be able to benefit, but those who come after have to understand it's a different dynamic here in New York. We have been generous; we have been humanitarian in our response. That’s who we are, but also, we're at capacity.

Cheryl Wills, NY1: Hey, we're capacity. We’ll leave it there. Governor Kathy Hochul, appreciate your time tonight.

Contact the Governor’s Press Office

Contact us by phone:

Albany: (518) 474 - 8418
New York City: (212) 681 - 4640