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Hochul leaves door open for special session to deal with migrant crisis

A woman in a white outfit with black trim stands behind a lectern in front of New York State and US flags.
Darren McGee/Darren McGee- Office of Governor
Gov. Hochul Sept. 13, 2023.

Governor Hochul opened the door to a potential special session to deal with New York’s migrant crisis, saying she discussed options with state legislative leaders .

Hochul said previously that the state is considering issuing its own temporary work permits to circumvent a 180 day federal waiting period before the tens of thousands of asylum seekers who have entered the state are allowed to apply for jobs.

Two bills have already been introduced in the state legislature.

The governor says she met with leaders of the Senate and Assembly on that and other ideas to ease the crisis, but says no decision has yet been made.

“We talked about if there were to be a session, what would it be? What would be involved?” the governor said. “And we're trying to game out and figure out, you know, what is the objective of that?”.

She says she also told the leaders: be prepared for some belt tightening in next year’s state budget.

Hochul, a democrat, also criticized republicans, who lead the House of Representatives in Congress, and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, for what she says is a failure to act to create a functioning immigration system in the U.S.

"Speaker McCarthy other than wasting his time pursuing idiotic ideas like impeaching the president, based on nothing, ought to bring back the Republicans of which there are nine from the state of New York who should be feeling this and hearing about this, instead of calling on us to do something,” Hochul said.

The governor says immigration is a federal problem that calls for a federal solution.

Karen DeWitt is Capitol Bureau Chief for New York State Public Radio, a network of 10 public radio stations in New York State. She has covered state government and politics for the network since 1990. She is also a regular contributor to the statewide public television program about New York State government, New York Now. She appears on the reporter’s roundtable segment and interviews newsmakers. Karen previously worked for WINS Radio, New York, and has written for numerous publications, including Adirondack Life and the Albany newsweekly Metroland.