Truth, Inspiration, Hope.

Dozens of Municipal Officials Ask Biden Administration to Grant Undocumented Migrants Work Permits

Published: May 28, 2024
Asylum seekers board a bus en route to a shelter at Port Authority Bus Terminal on May 18, 2023, in New York City. (Image: Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images)

A group of 40 mayors and county executives from across the country have written to the Biden administration asking that work authorization be granted to newly arrived undocumented migrants as well as those who have been in the country for some time.

In the May 23 letter, the group of Democrats wrote, “Our request is rooted in the belief that extending the dignity of legal authorization to work for our residents born in Mexico, Guatemala, the Dominican Republic, and other countries would be a positive step forward.”

The letter, whose signatories include New York mayor Eric Adams, Boston mayor Michele Wu, and Houston mayor John Whitmire, asserted that “long-term immigrants are valued members of communities across the country. They add tremendous value to the U.S. economy as neighbors, taxpayers, workers, consumers, and entrepreneurs.” 

It continued, “It is time to extend work permits to bring millions out of the shadows. On behalf of our new residents and long-term immigrants, we urge you to use this authority to everyone’s shared benefit.”

However, according to a March 2023 analysis by FAIR Research, the fiscal burden placed on American taxpayers due to illegal migration far exceeds the benefits they bring.

“Tax payments by illegal aliens cover only around a sixth of the costs they create at all levels in this country,” the analysis reads. “Many illegal aliens actually receive a net cash profit through refundable tax credit programs.”

The report found that while undocumented immigrants contribute an estimated $32 billion to the American economy, they cost taxpayers a staggering $182 billion.


Grant undocumented migrants ‘parole’ status

The group of Democrat leaders are asking that undocumented migrants be granted the status known as “parole,” which would immediately allow them to apply for work authorization. 

They want this status to apply to both recently arrived migrants as well as for those who have been in the country for years.

New York City Mayor, Eric Adams, has been asking for something similar from the federal government for some time. He believes that ensuring migrants can provide for themselves will alleviate the strain placed on New York City taxpayers. 

“We know that the only way to make the American Dream work is if we let people work because work is the foundation of that dream,” Adams said in a statement. “In the absence of any long-overdue comprehensive reform by Congress, expanded work authorization for immigrants is a win-win-win: it allows immigrants to do what they came to this country to do and provide for their families. It prevents exploitation of workers, and it relieves some of the financial and logistical burden that shelter systems across the country have been under.”

In addition to the 40 municipal leaders who signed the letter, the letter also boasts support from another 80 members of Congress, the American Business Immigration Coalition’s more than 300 employees and labor groups including the United Auto Workers (UAW).

According to the analysis by FAIR, there were an estimated 15.5 million “illegal alien residents” in the country, and around 5.4 million citizen children of illegal aliens as of the beginning of 2022, costing American taxpayers an estimated $182 billion.

“That amounts to a cost burden of approximately $8,776 per illegal alien/citizen child,” researchers said, adding that, “The burden of illegal immigration on U.S. taxpayers is both staggering and crippling, with the gross cost per taxpayer at $1,156 every year.”