ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — This week on Empire State Weekly, New York’s asylum seeker situation continues to develop. The New York City comptroller rejected the contract the city forged with DocGo to house and transport the incoming asylees.

Cianna Freeman-Tolbert, a lawyer with Whiteman Osterman & Hanna, explained that the Comptroller’s letter on DocGo added to frustrations surrounding the migrant issue. Governor Hochul and City Mayor Eric Adams have called for a federal response to expand work authorizations for asylum seekers. Freeman-Tolbert speculates on why this action has yet to be taken.

“The fear of the federal government, I believe, is that more people are gonna come because ‘oh, we can go to the U.S. and get work authorization and start working,’ and you don’t want to encourage that. You want to encourage only individuals that are fearing for their life to come to the U.S., so they have to balance that.”

Also this week, the state’s adult-use marijuana industry remains paused as a group of veterans has sued the Office of Cannabis Management. Wei Hu, a lawyer with MRTA Law, represents several CAURD recipients who cannot conduct business due to the pause. He explained the current situation comes from a lack of clarity over state cannabis regulations.

“If you don’t create a robust legal structure for this industry, there are starts and stops, and this is what we’re seeing is happening. So yes, when there are fewer stores open, collected tax revenue, there will be less tax revenue collected, so we all want to see an acceleration of this.”

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