New York, NY—Today, Governor Hochul delivered her State of the State address and failed to include any mention of her vision for a New York agenda that includes immigrant New Yorkers. In her State of the State briefing book, Governor Hochul committed to working towards retraining immigrants who previously worked in skilled jobs, connecting asylum seekers with agricultural and food industry jobs, providing funding for refugee resettlement programs, expanding funding for the Office of New Americans, and expanding Essential Plan and Medicaid coverage for low-income New Yorkers. While these investments are necessary, they are not nearly enough to ensure the health and well-being of immigrant New Yorkers.
Murad Awawdeh, Executive Director, New York Immigration Coalition:
“Today, Governor Hochul failed to present a bold and ambitious plan for New York that substantially improves the lives of immigrant New Yorkers and recognizes the challenges we face. While we are grateful for Governor Hochul’s commitments to some key programs, they are far from enough to ensure that all immigrant New Yorkers, including the over 30,000 newly arrived asylum seekers, have the support they need to integrate and thrive in New York State. Without a full $100M investment in the Access to Representation Act and immigration legal services funding our families remain at risk of being cruelly separated. Moreover, the lack of investment in health coverage for all New Yorkers, regardless of legal status, is no small oversight in light of the ongoing pandemic and the contributions of our communities to keeping New York open for business. Governor Hochul must further commit to supporting the passage and signing the New York for All Act, so that our immigrant communities are no longer terrorized by ICE and Border Patrol, and expanding Language Access further so all New Yorkers can access services in a language they comprehend. Governor Hochul cannot provide for some New Yorkers while leaving others out of the New York Dream she described in her address. Immigrants have always been the engine that fuels New York’s economy and now we need Governor Hochul to recognize that fact and build a state that works for all of us regardless of our legal status or wealth.”