October 3, 2023
Albany, NY

Governor Hochul, Mayor Adams Announce $38 Million for Asylum Seeker Legal Services and Case Management

Governor Hochul, Mayor Adams Announce $38 Million for Asylum Seeker Legal Services and Case Management

With Eligibility for Temporary Protected Status Expanding Today, State Commits $38 Million in New Funding to Help City Provide Legal Services

Builds On State’s Existing $50 Million Commitment for Casework and Legal Services, Part of $1.7 Billion in State Funding Allocated to Support City’s Crisis Response

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Governor Kathy Hochul and Mayor Eric Adams today announced $38 million in new State funding to bolster the City's efforts to provide legal services for asylum seekers. The announcement comes on the first day that the federal rule extending Temporary Protected Status to Venezuelans who entered the country before July 31, 2023 takes effect.

“For more than a year, the State and City have worked side-by-side to address the unprecedented humanitarian crisis we’re experiencing,” Governor Hochul said. “After months of coordinated advocacy from New Yorkers, the federal government has made thousands of migrants from Venezuela newly-eligible for Temporary Protected Status. Our job now is to ensure these individuals fill out all the appropriate paperwork so they can attain work authorization, find a job, and exit taxpayer-funded shelter.”

New York City Mayor Eric Adams said, “Throughout this crisis, New York City has led the nation in answering the call to support arriving asylum seekers, and that work continues again today in partnership with New York State. We were proud to lead the call to ‘Let Them Work’ and are grateful that the federal government heard us and has expanded the pathways to work for many of those in the city’s care. With the expansion of Temporary Protected Status taking effect today, our teams are already hard at work helping them apply for work authorization, and this investment from the state will bolster those efforts to help thousands of migrants obtain work and eventually move out of shelter.”

Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services Commissioner Jackie Bray said, “This is a tough crisis to manage but the pathway out of crisis is through work and helping migrants live independently. Governor Hochul has been focused on funding and programs to help people leave shelter. This funding doubled down on earlier State funding for legal services, case management, and connections to legal employment.”

Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services Anne Williams-Isom said, “In just a few months, our Asylum Seeker Application Help Center has assisted thousands of individuals and families complete their federal asylum applications and helping them move one step closer to obtaining work authorization and participating in the American Dream. Now, with this investment from the state, we can build on that model, stand up satellite sites across the city to serve even more asylum seekers, and help Venezuelans who recently received TPS from the federal government. Thank you to Governor Hochul and her team for this investment and for answering our call for more support on this national crisis.”

To coincide with the federal rule taking effect today, the city will begin assisting eligible Venezuelan asylum seekers submit their paper applications for TPS and work authorization, in addition to their fee waiver forms at the city’s Asylum Application Help Center, which is also funded by State resources. In the coming weeks, the City and State will scale these efforts, expanding case management and legal services to help more asylum seekers in the city’s care obtain work authorization, stabilize their lives, and provide for themselves so they can move out of shelter.

The city and state also plan to partner to expand access to legal and casework services by:

  • Opening additional Asylum Application Help Center satellite sites across the city;
  • Launching roving teams within the city’s emergency shelter sites to help asylum seekers apply on the spot for TPS and work authorization; and
  • Scheduling those who enter the shelter system and are eligible for TPS for appointments to immediately apply upon entering the city’s care.

The $38 million in State funding announced today builds on an existing $50 million commitment from the State to support legal services and casework for asylum seekers and migrants. This includes $20 million allocated to local nonprofits serving asylum seekers and migrants; $20 million to help New York City with a casework surge through NYC Health + Hospitals; $10 million for migrant legal services. The Governor has surged personnel and resources to case management, to help migrants and asylum seekers fill out the necessary paperwork to attain legal work status. This includes deploying 250 National Guard personnel assigned to full-time case management services, part of a deployment of more than 2,100 National Guard personnel to address this ongoing situation.

After months of advocacy from Governor Hochul, Mayor Adams and a broad coalition of political, civic and business leaders, the White House announced plans to grant Temporary Protected Status to individuals who arrive in the United States from Venezuela on or before July 31, 2023. Governor Hochul announced yesterday that New York State has identified more than 18,000 job openings with nearly 400 employers who are willing to hire migrants and asylum seekers who have attained legal work status in the United States.

Governor Hochul has led a robust state response to this crisis. Overall, the State has committed $1.7 billion to support asylum seekers and migrants, including for shelter, transportation and social services; the State recently advanced $250 million to the City for these purposes. The State has also offered up multiple State-owned sites, such as the former Lincoln Correctional Facility in Manhattan and Building 197 at JFK Airport, to be used as shelters; the State is also covering the cost of multiple Humanitarian Emergency Response and Relief Centers (HERRCs) at Creedmoor Psychiatric Facility and on Randall's Island.

Contact the Governor's Press Office

Contact us by phone:

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


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