More than 40 mayors and county executives from across the nation are calling on the federal authorities to increase work authorizations for unlawful migrants, saying that with out the measures hundreds will lose their jobs, companies will undergo and districts will discover it tougher to cater to new asylum seekers.
The elected officers – which embody New York City Mayor Eric Adams and Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson – wrote a letter on Monday to Department of Homeland Security Secretary (DHS) Alejandro Mayorkas and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Director Ur Jaddou, calling for computerized extensions for current work permits of not less than 540 days.
Historically, migrants have been granted a 180-day grace interval if their Employment Authorization Document (EAD) renewal software continues to be pending.
In 2022, USCIS prolonged the 180-day grace interval to 540 days attributable to prolonged processing delays.
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That extension expired on Oct. 26 and now the mayors are requesting a “permanent automatic extension of work authorization” within the type of an interim last rule that extends work permits for 540 days or longer.
“Without this, hundreds of thousands of immigrant workers will lose their work authorization, businesses will lose staff, and our cities and counties will face an increasing challenge to provide shelter to the public,” the mayors and county executives wrote.
“If DHS does not address this impending crisis, local economies will suffer additional harm in the face of large job losses.”
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The signees wrote that native companies are nonetheless struggling to deal with the present labor scarcity and can’t deal with additional disruptions to their operations by shedding immigrant employees.
“We are concerned that the lengthy delays in adjudicating renewal applications for work authorization have not improved.”
They wrote that as of June 2023, there have been roughly 263,000 EAD renewal functions pending.
Given these delays, they wrote, a whole bunch of hundreds of immigrants will seemingly expertise a lapse of their work authorization within the coming months.
“As a result, cities and counties are bracing for similar events to transpire, and we are already hearing from businesses who may soon be forced to lay off their workers until their renewed EADs arrive.”
The officers additionally wrote that if extensions should not granted it would “significantly impact our ability to receive newly arrived asylum seekers.”
“Cities and counties across the United States are quickly running out of shelter space. If hundreds of thousands of already-employed immigrants lose their jobs, they are likely to lose their homes, and this will result in cities and counties experiencing even greater difficulty providing shelter space and additional services to the public,” the letter reads.
“If DHS does not implement a permanent change to the automatic extension, any temporary extension should be for a period of no less than three years, to allow sufficient time for USCIS to work through the extensive work permit renewal backlog. We ask that you act swiftly so that the communities we represent do not experience the destabilizing effects of immigrant workers falling out of the workforce.”
The signees are a part of a bunch referred to as the Cities For Action (C4A), made up of practically 180 U.S. mayors and county executives who advocate for “humane immigration policies that strengthen their cities and reflect the nation’s values of inclusion and opportunity.”
Adams, who has criticized the federal authorities’s response to the disaster, saying it will destroy New York City, mentioned the migrants have a proper to work within the Big Apple. At least 170,000 unlawful migrants have arrived in New York for the reason that spring of 2022.
“New York City thrives on the diverse and dedicated contributions of these community members and stripping people of their right to work is simply un-American,” Adams mentioned in an announcement accompanying the letter.
“I’m hopeful the federal government acts swiftly to protect the stability and security of hundreds of thousands of immigrant workers and their families.”
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Meanwhile, Denver Mayor Mike Johnston, who final week introduced cuts to public providers to assist fund the price of his metropolis’s migrant disaster, additionally signed the letter. About 40,000 migrants, largely from Venezuela, have arrived in Denver over the previous yr, and greater than 3,500 reside in city-funded lodge rooms, in response to the Colorado Sun.
“Over the past few weeks, Denver has seen record-high numbers of migrants arriving in our city, and very few have the ability to work and make a living for their families,” mentioned Johnston.
“This has created simultaneous humanitarian and fiscal crises for our city, forcing us to look at significant budget cuts and reduction in services. We know that the ability for migrants to work is critical to Denver’s success, and it is imperative that DHS take immediate action to prevent even more migrants from losing their work authorization.”