(NEWS) There’s a labor shortage in the U.S. Why is it so hard for migrants to legally work?

At almost any migrant shelter in New York it’s easy to see men — sitting on curbs or park benches — waiting. Eddie is one of those people, sitting under a highway overpass, eating a lunch of rice and chicken. He asked that his last name be withheld, because he says he’s fleeing violence between armed groups in Colombia.

Eddie wants to apply for asylum but more immediately, he just wants to work. Like so many migrants, he keeps getting asked for work papers. The fact that he doesn’t have them, he says, keeps him up at night.

It’s not just Eddie who wants Eddie to work. Lawmakers around the country have been pressing the federal government to expedite work papers for asylum-seekers. New York Gov. Kathy Hochul last Thursday publicly criticized the Biden administration for lack of action on immigration. Her remarks echoed those of New York City Mayor Eric Adams, who said recently, “We must expedite work authorization for asylum-seekers, not in the future, but now…”
Jasmine Garcd, NPR
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