Gotham Gazette

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immigrant communities

immigrant communities

  • This AAPI Heritage Month, Let’s All Take a Closer Look at Mental Health Care in Our Communities

    "Tell Asian Stories" (photo: Don Pollard/Governor's Office)

    As Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) women, May is a month of celebration. It is also a time to highlight Mental Health Awareness and commemorate Mother’s Day. But while many of us are celebrating, some are coping with a gaping void left by those who died by suicide in the past year.

    Though updated suicide statistics for 2022 are not yet available, we’ve seen the stories reported by community media outlets of individuals in our community who are no longer with

  • What Advocates and Electeds Say Mayor Adams Should Be Doing Differently About the Asylum-Seeker Crisis

    Mayor Adams and others tour a HERRC (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)

    As the migrant asylum-seeker crisis continues to escalate, and another surge of arrivals has begun after a federal pandemic-era border policy expired last week, Mayor Eric Adams is taking increasingly desperate steps to ease the impact on New York City.

    While virtually everyone agrees that the federal and state governments should do more to help the city, critics say there are still several concrete measures the mayor has failed to

  • Everyone Deserves the Chance for a Life-Saving Organ Transplant If They Need It

    Emergency (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)

    Imagine that one day you wake up with a slight cough. Thinking it is a cold or allergies, you take over-the-counter cough medicine, cough drops, and even at-home remedies. Five months later, nothing seems to be working and, at your wife’s urging, you finally go to the doctor. He runs several tests and a few weeks later you get a call to come back to

    Leading Immigrant Advocacy Group Releases NYC Agenda, Countering Mayor's Budget

    Make the Road New York (photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)

    With Mayor Eric Adams soon to release his executive budget plan, Make the Road New York, a leading immigrant advocacy organization, is releasing a policy and budget agenda to push the mayor and City Council to adopt a more immigrant- and worker-friendly budget. 

    With 25,000 members across the state, Make the Road is the largest member-based group of immigrant advocates in the state and a prominent voice for progressive legislation. The group will release its

  • Our Newest New Yorkers Want to Work: What They Need from the President and Mayor

    Helping with immigration paperwork (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)

    Imagine if we could fulfill the American Dream for tens of thousands of vulnerable migrants, save vast amounts of money on temporary housing, and add to the city’s tax base – all at no cost and with no downside. It’s possible: President Biden must give all of New York City’s asylum-seekers employment authorization — today — by granting humanitarian parole to our newest New Yorkers.  

    New York City is more than $1 billion into a humanitarian

  • Expanded Health Coverage is a Win for All; State Leaders Should Include it in Final Budget Deal

    A health care push (photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)

    Recent estimates suggest that there are approximately 245,000 New Yorkers — our friends, caregivers, laborers, and neighbors who do not have health insurance simply because they do not have a qualifying immigration status. With the three-year mark of the first known COVID-19 case in New York in our rear view, we now know all too well the importance of a strong healthcare delivery system, investments in public and population health, and access to healthcare. 

    Because of

  • Passover Lessons and Our Chance to Welcome Migrants with Open Arms

    Welcoming migrants to NYC (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)

    As Passover begins this week, it provides us with a critical opportunity to reflect on immigration, freedom, and the holiday’s relevance for Jews and non-Jews alike. Today more than ever.

    “When strangers reside with you in your land, you shall not wrong them. The strangers who reside with you shall be to you as your citizens; you shall love each one as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.” Leviticus 19:33-34


  • City Council Members Question Mayor Adams' Decision to Create New Office for Asylum-Seeker Operations

    MOIA Commissioner Castro, center-left, with Mayor Adams & others (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)

    Earlier this month, Mayor Eric Adams announced the creation of a new office to handle the influx of tens of thousands of migrant asylum-seekers in the city. But, at a City Council budget hearing focused on immigration services that same day, March 7, administration officials offered barebones details about the new office’s structure and budget, and how it would interact with an existing mayoral office that is already dedicated to immigrant affairs and has been coordinating services for

  • Max Politics Podcast: Understanding the Arrival of Asylum-Seekers in New York City

    Mayor Adams greets migrants (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)

    February 17, 2023 - Understanding the Arrival of Asylum-Seekers in New York City

    On this episode, a deep dive into what's happening around the tens of thousands of mostly Latin American asylum-seekers who have arrived in New York City over the last year, the federal laws at play, New York City's response, and more. Joining the show to break it all down: Felipe De La Hoz, a journalist who co-writes the Border Lines newsletter on immigration policy, a member of The Daily News editorial Board, and a lecturer at

  • The Solution to Our Labor Shortage is Clear: Remove Barriers to Immigrant Employment

    A naturalization ceremony at City Hall (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)

    The economy was the top issue on American voters’ minds this election season, with 9 out of 10 citing it as one of their biggest concerns. Especially in an era of increased partisanship, this serves as a rare moment of national agreement.

    Unfortunately, that’s where the consensus stops.

    The economy isn’t a simple, standalone issue, and many complex forces affect its condition.

  • Democrats Must Act on Immigration Reform While They Still Can

    A naturalization ceremony (photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)

    The midterm elections are now behind us and the lame-duck session is the perfect time to tackle a long-standing problem: immigration policy. The issue has a profound bearing on most Americans' communities and schools, as well as their economic interests and notions of justice.

    Specifically, Democrats must finally codify the rights of Dreamers, those who are beneficiaries of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, and remedy continuing

  • Leading Immigrant Advocacy Group Releases 'Respect and Dignity' 2023 State Policy Agenda

    A Make the Road rally (photo: Make the Road NY)

    Make the Road New York, the state’s largest member organization of immigrant advocates, will release its 2023-24 state policy platform on Wednesday and kick off a series of town halls to push for legislation that includes expanded unemployment protections, greater health care access, instituting ‘good cause’ eviction, ending racially-biased school discipline, decriminalizing sex work, raising taxes on the wealthy, and more. 

    With 25,000 members statewide, Make the Road New York (MRNY)

  • Fires, Storms, Covid, and Asylum-Seekers: Emergency Spending and the New York City Budget

    Mayor Adams at a City Hall press conference (photo: Violet Mendelsund/Mayor's Office)

    Earlier this year, Mayor Eric Adams pleaded with the federal government for $500 million in emergency funding to address the “humanitarian crisis” of thousands of migrant asylum seekers who have arrived in New York City in the last few months. But despite the clear health and safety risk to thousands of people, who have the right to shelter under New York law, the crisis is not the type of emergency – like the COVID-19 pandemic or

  • Max Politics Podcast: How New York City is Handling an Influx of Asylum Seekers

    Asylum seekers arrive in New York City (photo: @NYCImmigrants)

    September 16, 2022 - Max Politics Podcast: How New York City is Handling an Influx of Asylum Seekers

    Murad Awawdeh, Executive Director of the New York Immigration Coalition, joined the show to discuss the influx of asylum seekers to New York City, how government and nonprofits have responded, as well as ongoing City Council redistricting.

    Listen to the conversation and let us know what you think, on Twitter @TweetBenMax. You can listen to the show through the

  • 'Everything's On The Table' as Redistricting Commission Draws Next Version of City Council Map


    Commissioners hold a public hearing of the NYC Districting Commission (photo: @DistrictingNYC)

    This month, the commission tasked with redrawing the 51 New York City Council districts is set to unveil a second and potentially final map following a process that has unfolded behind closed doors to a significant degree.

    The New York City Districting Commission has been working since March on the new map, which must be redrawn each decade after the U.S. Census to account for population shifts. Those lines must be finalized by the end of this year and will be in place for the 2023 elections, where all 51 City

  • Asian Advocates, Elected Officials Call on Redistricting Commission to Redo City Council Map

    A portion of the Unity Map proposal for new City Council districts

    Last month, the New York City Districting Commission released a preliminary map of new City Council district lines, redrawing boundaries across the city based on population changes enumerated in the 2020 Census. Uproar quickly ensued over several of the major changes in the draft maps for the 51 City Council districts across the five boroughs.

    In Brooklyn, the commission proposed a new Asian American majority district that could award political power to a growing constituency — what the commission itself deemed an “Asian opportunity district”

  • City Council Redistricting Process Heads to New Round of Public Input After Draft Map Release

    City Council members at City Hall (photo: John McCarten/NYC Council Media Unit)

    Unlike the fight over new state legislative and congressional district maps, which focused on partisan lines earlier this year, the effort to redraw New York City's 51 City Council districts has become a battle defined by incumbency and ethnicity.

    Last Friday, the New York City Districting Commission released a

  • DACA at 10: My American Journey and the Work Ahead for Others

    A naturalization ceremony (photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)

    Ten years ago, the Obama administration announced that people who came to the United States without documentation as children could apply for basic protection on their immigration status. Since then, hundreds of thousands of people have received Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), including an estimated 30,000 DACA recipients in New York City. Without DACA, these young people would be stuck on the margins of American life as undocumented immigrants. I

  • Lost in Translation: We Need Meaningful Language Access in New York City

    Adult literacy programming (photo: John McCarten/City Council)

    People from across the world come to New York City to build a new life, bringing with them their customs, cultures, and traditions. Our newest neighbors also bring with them their own languages, contributing to the wonderful diversity of our city, but also presenting a unique set of challenges as families build their new lives.

    Take my district in Flushing, which has more than 70,000 “limited English proficiency” Asian New Yorkers, roughly 70% of the total

  • Advocates, Council Members Call on City Government to Better Support Asian Communities

    A rally to "#StopAsianHate" (photo: Gerardo Romo/City Council)

    Asian-American social-service providers want to be more involved in city policy-making around mental health and language access as the city grapples with an ongoing surge in anti-Asian hate crimes.

    At a press conference outside City Hall, a coalition of advocates and service-providers urged city officials to better enforce translation requirements for government programs. Beyond that, they want to see more support for the community-based organizations that provide a lifeline of services and step in when those

  • The Question Isn’t Whether Antonio Delgado is Latino, It’s Whether He’ll Stand Up For Our Community

    Antonio Delgado (photo: Mike Groll/Office of Governor Kathy Hochul)

    The recent appointment of new Lieutenant Governor Antonio Delgado was marred by a debate about his ethnicity – specifically, whether he is Latino. 

    The debate about Mr. Delgado’s ethnicity misses the point. The

  • Adams Leaves $25 Million City Council Request for Implementing Noncitizen Voting Out of Updated Budget

    A rally for Our City Our Vote (photo: William Alatriste/NYC Council)

    The New York City Council called on Mayor Eric Adams to provide $25 million in his latest budget plan to implement the city’s noncitizen voting law, which went into effect in January. But the mayor’s $99.7 billion executive budget for the 2023 fiscal year, released last month, did not include that

  • City Council Pushes for $25 Million in Next Budget for Implementation of Noncitizen Voting

    Then-Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez leads a rally for noncitizen voting (photo: William Alatriste/NYC Council Media Unit)

    In January, the “Our City, Our Vote” law went into effect, allowing hundreds of thousands of noncitizens in New York City to vote in municipal elections. While there’s many months until they’ll be able to cast their votes, the New York City Council wants city officials and election administrators to be well prepared and conduct outreach to raise awareness, and is calling for $25 million in the next city budget to fund the implementation of the law.

    The new ...

  • The New State Budget is a Start, But New York Still Needs to to Do More for AAPI Communities

    Gov. Hochul presents funding for Chinatown (photo: Kevin P. Coughlin/Office of the Governor)

    I immigrated from Taiwan to the U.S. at age 27, with just two pieces of luggage, because of my belief in the American Dream. 

    Like most Asian-American immigrants, I understand the struggle of acclimating to a new country and a new city. You must navigate new systems and overcome language barriers. And now, as Asian hate crimes continue to soar, many in the Asian-American Pacific-Islander (AAPI) community find ourselves fearful

  • Leading Immigrant Advocacy Group Releases 2022 New York City Policy and Budget Agenda

    Immigrant support rally (photo: John McCarten/City Council)

    Make the Road New York, the state’s largest organization representing immigrants and working New Yorkers, is releasing a new New York City policy and budget agenda on Wednesday as it hopes to influence the ongoing city budget process.

    Claiming more than 25,000 members who mostly live in New York City, Make the Road issued its priorities including investments in housing, worker protections, greater immigrant protections, hate crime