Gov. Hochul directs review of DocGo, says migrant work permits are ‘daily conversation’ with White House

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Gov. Kathy Hochul said she is asking the White House to make it easier for migrants to legally work in New York state on a daily basis.

The governor acknowledged that it is a complicated situation and that the White House would need the support of Congress to change the current 180-day requirement for asylum-seekers to work.

Lawmakers in Albany County said the state was already footing some of the bill for the migrant crisis –calling on Washington to step in with funding.

“This is, I’m not exaggerating, a daily conversation between me and the White House.” Gov. Hochul said. “And they know, I say, the sense of urgency exists.”

Asked about the medical company DocGo, Hochul said she is directing her team to review the company after allegations by Albany County officials that DocGo was not making good on its agreement with New York City.

Hochul also said many migrants are stuck in shelters and hotels around New York without the ability to legally work.

“The restaurant industry is begging for these people because there’s such a high need,” she said.

Local restauranteur Dominick Purnomo said the industry is still bouncing back from the toll the pandemic took on restaurants.  

“Everybody’s looking to hire, everybody’s looking for positions, and yet, here we are,” said Purnomo, who owns Dominick Purnomo Restaurant Group.

He and other local restaurant owners say believe their openings are the perfect match for people looking to gain a foothold in the workforce.

“We have a hole, we have issues, we have a demand, and here’s a supply of people ready, willing and able to work. But there’s a barrier and it’s bureaucracy and it’s government that’s in its own way,” he said.

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