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

NY Governor Kathy Hochul
New York NOW
New York Gov. Kathy Hochul.

Gov. Kathy 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 has said 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 said she met with leaders of the Senate and Assembly on that and other ideas to ease the crisis but said no decision has yet been made.

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

She said she also told the leaders to 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 called 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.

She said immigration is a federal problem that calls for a federal solution.

Karen DeWitt is Capitol Bureau chief for the New York Public News Network, composed of a dozen newsrooms across the state. She has covered state government and politics for the network since 1990.