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A coalition of 43 mayors from across the United States has formally requested the Biden administration and the Department of Homeland Security to extend work permits for migrants.

In a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and USCIS Director Ur Jaddou, the mayors advocate for at least 540-day extensions for current work permits to prevent disruptions in the workforce and local economies.

Highlighting the situation’s urgency, the mayors argue that without these extensions, “hundreds of thousands of immigrant workers will lose their work authorization, businesses will lose staff, and our cities and counties will face an increasing challenge to provide shelter to the public.” The letter has garnered support from significant city leaders, including New York’s Eric Adams, Chicago’s Brandon Johnson, and Denver’s Mike Johnston, who have all expressed concerns over the impact of expiring work permits on their communities and local businesses.

Denver Mayor Mike Johnston described the city’s crisis: “Over the past few weeks, Denver has seen record-high numbers of migrants arriving in our city, and very few have the ability to work and make a living for their families.” He stressed the need for the Department of Homeland Security to act quickly to prevent further loss of work authorization among migrants.

The request follows the expiration of a USCIS rule that previously allowed for 540-day automatic renewals, a change that has prompted widespread calls for action to address the resulting labor shortages and operational disruptions for businesses.


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