New York identifies 18,000 job openings for Venezuelan migrants recently granted legal work status

New York Democratic Governor Kathy Hochul announced Monday that state officials have identified approximately 18,000 job openings that Venezuelan migrants can fill after the Biden administration recently granted legal work status.

Last month, the United States Department of Homeland Security extended work authorization and temporary legal status to roughly 472,000 Venezuelans who arrived in the country before July 31, 2023. The DHS claimed that the asylum-seekers qualified for 18 months of Temporary Protected Status “due to extraordinary and temporary conditions in Venezuela that prevent individuals from safely returning.”

The agency previously extended the protections to Venezuelans who arrived in the United States before March 2021.

New York City estimates that the authorization will impact 15,000 Venezuelans residing in the city. According to the New York Times, as of late September, more than 118,800 migrants have arrived in New York City since the spring of 2022.

Following the DHS’ announcement, Hochul and Democratic New York City Mayor Eric Adams stated Tuesday that the state will allocate $38 million to providing legal services to migrants. The state previously committed $50 million to support legal services.

“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,” Hochul stated.

On Monday, the governor announced that there are over 18,000 private-sector job openings, with 379 companies willing to hire the migrants.

Approximately 24% of the job openings are in the accommodation and food services industry, 21% in health care and social assistance, 10% in manufacturing, 8% in administrative support, and 7% in other industries. The state has identified 9,801 job openings in New York City, 2,896 in Hudson Valley, 1,521 in western New York, and 1,294 in Long Island.

The governor’s office led a “robust outreach effort” to identify the companies through a portal. The Labor Department created a registration process for migrants to fill out that matches them with work opportunities.

“DOL’s career experts are working with individuals to assess skills, work history, education, career interests and more, and connect them with employers across the State,” the state Labor Department’s website states. “To help balance the equation, DOL has also launched a portal that enables businesses to inform the State that they would welcome newly-authorized individuals into their workforce.”

Hochul believes that the state will alleviate its overwhelmed shelter system by getting migrants into the workforce so that they may be able to live independently.

“Migrants and asylum seekers came here to work — so let’s put them to work,” she said. “Right now, we have a migrant crisis and a workforce crisis. By connecting work-eligible individuals with jobs and opportunity in New York, we can solve them both and secure a brighter future for all New Yorkers.”

Hochul aims to pressure the federal government to extend work authorizations to more migrants.

“I am hopeful and continue to press Washington and Congress to open up those work authorizations to more people because again, the Venezuelans is a good start, but it’s not going to take care of the people who come in from Mauritania, and Congo, and other parts of South America, Central America, West Africa,” she said. “We have people from Iraq and Afghanistan coming, people from Russia are coming, because everyone’s finding their ways to that southern border. And that’s where we need to have more thoughtful controls at that as well.”

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