Proposed temporary work permits for asylum seekers in New York is a positive move

September 14, 2023

María Rosa Jiménez | +1 703 585 6727 | [email protected] 



New York, NY — One of the challenges that asylum seekers face when integrating into the United States has been the lack of employment authorization documents. The process for the issuance of these documents is very long, on average the wait time is12 months or more. One measure that organizations such as Alianza Americas has suggested is the issuance of employment authorization documents by state governments where asylum seekers reside. We applaud the efforts of New York state legislators aimed at solving, at least temporarily, the lack of employment authorization documents for asylum seekers living in New York. Mirtha Colon, who has been a leader of the Garifuna community in New York, as well as Alianza Americas, reacted to the efforts of New York state legislators.


“The Garifuna community in the state of New York welcomes a bill by State Senator Luis Sepulveda and Assemblywoman Catalina Cruz to grant temporary work permits to asylum seekers residing in the state,” said Mirtha Colon, President of Hondurans Against AIDS, Casa Yurumein and the Black Central American Organization. “For the past three years during our Garifuna Advocacy Day celebration in Albany, NY, we have asked the state legislature, in the absence of action by the U.S. Congress, to pass legislation so that NY  becomes a sanctuary state, we could offer work permits to those seeking protection in the state. We will work with the New York legislature to generate support for this measure. We are convinced that it is a very positive model that other state legislatures could implement,” added the Honduran leader.


Securing employment authorization documents is one of the positive measures to resolve the situation of tens of thousands of people who have requested asylum in the United States, have been admitted into the country, but who have not been allowed to obtain employment authorization until this date.




Alianza Americas is the premier transnational advocacy network of Latin American migrant-led organizations working in the United States, across the Americas, and globally to create an inclusive, equitable and sustainable way of life for communities across North, Central and South America. 

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