Hochul, Murphy among coalition of Democratic governors calling for federal action on immigration

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By Dan Sears

Gov. Kathy Hochul joined with eight other Democratic governors on Monday in calling for $1.4 billion in federal aid for states and localities to address the ongoing migrant crisis roiling New York other states across the country.

The nine-governor coalition, including Hochul and New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy, penned a letter to the White House and leaders in Congress to call for more federal action on immigration and a comprehensive border security legislative package. In the letter, the governors urged Washington, D.C. to address the strain on both state and local resources caused by global migration, emphasizing an “outdated” immigration system.

“While the Biden Administration has made important progress in managing immigration at the Southwest border, the number of migrants arriving in states and cities seeking emergency shelter continues to increase at record pace,” the letter said. “States and cities have spent billions to address inaction by Congress and match these challenges with solutions for our state and local economies.”

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All combined, the lawmakers represent more than 100 million Americans, the letter said. The governors joining Hochul and Murphy in the letter included Katie Hobbs of Arizona, Gavin Newsom of California, Jared Polis of Colorado, J.B. Pritzker of Illinois, Wes Moore of Maryland, Maura Healey of Massachusetts, and Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham of New Mexico.

The White House did not immediately return a request seeking comment.

The letter cited President Joe Biden’s $106 billion funding request last year for border security and federal migration strategy, which ultimately failed to garner enough bipartisan support to come into fruition. The governors urged Congress to negotiate a comprehensive legislative package for border coordination, funding and immigration system modernization.

“The sustained arrival of individuals seeking asylum and requiring shelter and assistance, due to lack of Congressional action on infrastructure and policies, can only be addressed with federal organizational support and funding to meet the public safety and humanitarian needs of our local communities,” the letter said.

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In New York City, Mayor Eric Adams has been vocal in pushing for more financial assistance from state and federal governments to help with housing and processing migrants. He and Hochul have repeatedly traded blame over recent months as the city grapples with finding housing for more than 170,000 migrants who have arrived since last spring.

Hochul visited the White House in September, when she pressed for expedited federal work authorizations and an extension of temporary protected status for Venezuelans that is already available for migrants from Cuba, Haiti, Afghanistan and Ukraine.

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