Truth, Inspiration, Hope.

Hundreds of Migrants Descend on New York City Hall Pleading for Work Permits, Green Cards

Published: April 17, 2024
Migrants reach for food being handed out while filmed by a woman outside of the Roosevelt Hotel on Aug. 02, 2023 in New York City. (Image: Alexi Rosenfeld/Getty Images)

On April 16, hundreds of migrants — many believed to be illegal arrivals from West Africa and Haiti — descended on New York City Hall pleading for more aid, work permits, and better shelter conditions ahead of a 10:00 am City Council oversight hearing.  

Of the estimated 1,000 protesting migrants, 250 were allowed to attend the hearing, while the remainder rallied in a park across the street. 

According to the New York Post, some of the protesters, who were led to City Hall by an activist group, were encouraged to attend under the false belief that they would receive green cards and work visas. 

The oversight hearing was organized by Councilmember Alexa Avilés, chair of the City’s Committee on Immigration, with the intention of highlighting the difficulties faced by illegal African immigrants in the city’s shelter system. 

In an April 16 post on X, Avilés said, “Today’s hearing centers the experiences of Black immigrants in NYC and has turned out over 1,000 people. We must uproot the anti-blackness that plagues our systems of care – this work requires dedication, creativity, and a city willing to fund our short, mid, and long term needs.”

A crowd of immigrants converge on New York City Hall on April 16, 2024. (Image: via X)

According to a press release obtained by the NY Post, the City’s Committee of Immigration and Committee on Hospitals held the hearing to “understand how the [Adams] Administration is addressing language access barriers, cultural competency challenges, health needs and other roadblocks” migrants face. 


Proposed legislation over immigration crisis

At the hearing, a bill was introduced that would require the “Department of Consumer and Worker Protection (DCWP), in consultation with the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs (MOIA), to survey newly arrived migrants and asylum seekers to gather data on their skills, economic prospects, and barriers to employment growth,” the Daily Mail reported. 

New York City Comptroller, Brad Lander, posted on X that “Black migrants, who are disproportionately harmed by every aspect of our immigration system, deserve language justice, dignity, and access to services. Thanks @CMAlexaAviles and @CMMercedesCD46 for holding this critical hearing–we need equity and anti-racism in everything we do.”

U.S. Senator Roger Marshall, a Kansas Republican who has been vocal about the illegal immigration crisis, lambasted President Biden’s approach to the issue.

“Give me a break – this is an INVASION brought to you by Biden & Co. bought and paid for by the U.S. taxpayer.” Marshall wrote on X, formerly called Twitter, on April 16.

“Illegal immigrants swarm NYC City Hall to demand more aid, work permits Democrats will probably give them whatever they want,” wrote Charlie Kirk, founder and president of conservative organization Turning Point USA, on X.

So far, New York City has seen upwards of 175,000 migrants come to the city, many bussed from Texas by Gov. Greg Abbott in protest of the Biden administration’s lax border policies, and has accommodated at least 67,500 of them.

Mayor Adams says the crisis will cost NYC taxpayers an estimated $12 billion over the next three years, to handle the influx, set up and run large-scale emergency shelters, rent out hotels and provide various government services for the migrants.