It’s not just Republicans who are outspoken against the inaction the White House has taken over the migrant crisis at the U.S. southern border with Mexico. It’s prominent Democrats, too.
On Tuesday, Maura Healey, the Democratic governor of Massachusetts, declared a state of emergency in response to the surge of migrants coming to her state. In doing so, the governor gives her quick access to the National Guard if the state should need it, specifically in regard to creating new housing for migrants who might come – or be sent – to Massachusetts.
At a press conference Healey held earlier this week, she said the declaration allows Massachusetts to “utilize and operationalize all means necessary” so they can secure additional accommodations and help all the migrant families who are being housed in the crowded shelters throughout the state. Right now, there are more than 5,000 families in the shelters, Healey said.
On the same day she made the emergency declaration, Healey also sent a letter to Alejandro Mayorkas, the secretary of the Department of Homeland Security. In it, she insisted that the White House needs to expedite the process for asylum seekers to gain work permits.
She also slammed the Biden administration over what she called “a federal crisis of inaction that is many years in the making.”
Healey said that her state is experiencing a shortage of workers, yet migrants and asylum seekers are sitting around just waiting for work authorizations, a process that stretches “from several months, to several years, to longer.”
New York is also having trouble handling the increased number of migrants who have come to the state, and leaders there have also been pressuring the Biden administration to do something about speeding up the work permit process for people who are seeking asylum in the United States.
New York City Mayor Eric Adams has been a central figure in that push. This week, he referred to Massachusetts’ situation when holding a press conference at his home, saying:
“Democratic governors and mayors, mayors in Houston, Chicago, Los Angeles, here in New York, El Paso, Brownsville, all of the mayors have been saying that this is a national problem and we need national leadership.
“We all should be talking about this in a very real way. And there was a moment that I felt, as though, was I the only one that was seeing this? I was asking myself, are we the only ones that are seeing what’s happening to human beings?”
Despite both private and now very public calls from Democratic state leaders, the Biden administration hasn’t done much at all to move the needle on the issue of work permits for asylum seekers. Instead, officials have said the problem is a national one that needs a solution from Congress, not the White House.
These Democratic state leaders have stopped short of specifically calling out President Joe Biden, but that could change soon if something isn’t done about the issue affecting their state – even as a big presidential election looms next year.