Of some 9,000 newly arrived immigrants in New York who applied for Employment Authorization (EAD), about 3,000 obtained the document that will allow them to work.
The figure is minimal compared to the more than 130,000 immigrants who have arrived in the city since mid-2022, but it is progress in the process.
Mayor Eric Adams celebrated the progress, but considered that “act quickly” must be done, since New York City has “thousands of jobs available” that these people could do.
It is estimated that at least 15,000 immigrants from Venezuela are eligible for work permits.
Until now, immigrants from Venezuela can apply for asylum protection or Temporary Protected Status (TPS), which prevents a person’s deportation and allows them to obtain a work permit.
“We have thousands of jobs available,” Adams insisted in his press conference. “We need to make sure we allow people to fill those positions.”
Immigrants must apply to the Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) office, both for the immigration protection to which they may have access – depending on their case – as well as for an EAD.
Immigrant advocates pointed out that Venezuela’s new allocation for TPS, which occurred last July, reduced New York City’s pressure on immigrants, but did not take away its responsibility.
“It lowers the pressure, it does not take away the pressure or responsibility from the city of New York,” said Marlene Galaz, director of Immigrant Rights Policy at the New York Immigration Coalition (NYIC) to the “El Diario Sin Límites” podcast. “[Pero] “People will now have access to work permits and will be able to leave the shelter system.”
It is estimated that TPS for Venezuela could help some 472,000 nationwide, according to a statement from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
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