The New York City Council leadership team – Speaker Adrienne Adams, Deputy Speaker Diana Ayala, Majority Leader Keith Powers, Majority Whip Selvena Brooks-Powers, Finance Chair Justin Brannan, Council Member Gale Brewer, and Council Member Rafael Salamanca – released the following joint statement urging immediate action by the federal government to provide expedited work authorization for asylum seekers. The statement follows months of advocacy by the Council urging federal action, including its September 2022 letter, June 2023 letter, and Washington, D.C. visit to meet with federal officials on city priorities.

“As an increasing number of people seeking asylum in the United States arrive in our city, it is critical that they be permitted to work legally to support themselves, their families, and our city. For months, the Council has advocated for expedited federal work authorization, so that our newest arrivals can enter the workforce and achieve the self-sufficiency they desire. People seeking asylum can contribute immensely to our economy, and it is imperative that we facilitate this outcome. We join our colleagues in government and stakeholders across our city in urging action by the federal government to expedite work authorization that removes barriers to employment.”