New York City’s lifeguard shortage could be resolved with the help of migrants, Adams suggests

New York City Mayor Eric Adams has proposed a potential solution to the shortage of lifeguards in the city by suggesting that migrants could be a valuable resource due to their exceptional swimming abilities.

During a Tuesday briefing on staffing at the city’s beaches and pools ahead of Memorial Day weekend, Adams took a detour and expressed that expediting federal work permits for migrants and asylum-seekers could be a solution in finding workers for high-demand jobs, such as lifeguards.

“The mayor expressed frustration over the fact that there are numerous qualified individuals who are ready and willing to work in positions that require their specific skills. However, due to bureaucratic obstacles, these individuals are unable to secure employment. The mayor emphasized the illogical nature of such a situation.”

According to him, if the Biden administration takes action on the numerous work authorization applications, migrants have the potential to fill various high-demand occupations such as food service work and nursing.

Adams has been promoting immigrants as a viable solution to address the labor shortages in the city for quite some time. He believes that expediting work permits would help ease the financial burden on New York City, as it currently provides temporary housing, food, and other essential needs for a large number of newly arrived individuals.

According to a statement from a spokesperson for Mayor Adams, it has been emphasized that nothing is more un-American than preventing someone from working. The spokesperson stated this in response to the briefing held on Tuesday. They further added that those who are trying to exaggerate the mayor’s repeated emphasis on this point are overlooking the bigger picture.

In January, Governor Kathy Hochul of New York approved a temporary plan to simplify the process of finding jobs in the state government for asylum seekers who receive work authorization from the federal government.

The New York Civil Service Commission has approved several changes, one of which is the elimination of certain application requirements, such as the need to provide proof of a high school diploma and English proficiency.

New York is currently facing a significant challenge due to a surge in immigration along the U.S.-Mexico border, resulting in a large influx of migrants. As a response to this situation, there is now a strong push for work authorization in the state. The goal is to address the increasing numbers of illegal crossings and effectively manage the situation at hand.

In the past year, New York City has experienced a significant increase in the number of asylum seekers, with over 197,000 individuals seeking refuge. Currently, there are more than 60,000 migrants being cared for in shelters spread across the city’s five boroughs. This ongoing crisis has resulted in a substantial financial burden on taxpayers, amounting to over $1.45 billion in the past year alone. According to Adams, this figure is projected to escalate to as much as $10 billion in the upcoming years. Additionally, city officials have reported that more than 50,000 migrants in New York City have applied for work permits.

Hochul and Adams, along with other Democrats, are urging the Biden administration to speed up the process of granting work authorization for migrants. They are also advocating for increased federal funding and stronger measures to secure the southern border.

Republicans have been critical of New York City’s “sanctuary” status, as well as the city’s transportation and housing programs, which they argue are encouraging an influx of “illegal immigrants” into the city.

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