Gotham Gazette

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immigrant communities

immigrant communities

  • immigration policy family separation

    A march to end family separation at the border (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    After four years of the Trump administration’s cruel and hard-line policies intended to slow immigration to a crawl, immigration advocates in New York and beyond were overjoyed that Democrat Joe Biden will become the next President of the United States. Biden and his running mate, Kamala Harris, ran on a promise to immediately overturn Donald Trump’s many punitive and limiting administrative actions on immigration and to pursue comprehensive

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  • United States flags immigration citizenship

    A message to spur immigrant Americans to vote (photo: Spencer T Tucker/Mayor's Office)


    As a proud Guyanese-American immigrant and a leader of New York’s immigrant community, I’m getting ready to cast my vote on Tuesday, November 3. The stakes could not be higher — for myself, and New York’s 4 million immigrants.

    As a Co-Executive Director of NYIC Action, the political arm of the New York Immigration Coalition, I know what’s at stake for this election. Donald Trump won in 2016 on a hateful, racist platform of

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  • cm sab ca

    Carlos Menchaca (photo: Jeff Reed/City Council)


    Carlos Menchaca, a City Council member from Brooklyn, is running for mayor, making his announcement official on Thursday morning and entering the growing Democratic primary field. Known for his focus on immigrant communities, the term-limited Menchaca enters the 2021 race while representing neighborhoods including Sunset Park and Red Hook after unseating an incumbent in the 2013 election and holding his seat against several challengers in 2017.

    He’s become a steadfast critic of Mayor Bill de Blasio, arguing the mayor has not lived

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  • education failing immigrant

    A student reporting to school (photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)


    From English-only robo calls and critical emails to online-only surveys and a dearth of information in community media outlets, immigrant families have been left out of remote learning in New York, and they are confused and deeply concerned. 

    COVID-19 forced schools across the nation and in New York State to close in mid-March, quickly exacerbating pre-existing inequities in New York’s education system through the transition to remote learning. For New York’s

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  • 4 census rally park

    Census outreach efforts (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    This article was also published in English - read that version here.

    El conteo del censo, el cual ocurre una vez por década y se acerca a su conclusión al final de este mes, ha sido muy accidentado en la ciudad de Nueva York. La peor pandemia en un siglo desbarató elaborados planes de alcance comunitario y desató una cascada de efectos

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  • Census rally Brooklyn

    Census march in Sunset Park, Brooklyn (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    This story has also been published in Spanish - find that version here. Esta historia también ha sido publicada en español, encuéntrala aquí.

    The once-a-decade

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  • school reopening coronavirus new york city

    The Mayor and Chancellor visit a school (photo: Ed Reed/Mayor's Office)


    Deciding if and how we reopen schools this fall has been incredibly difficult and complex for city leaders. Keeping students, teachers, and support staff safe is of paramount importance in any reopening plan — but access to the resources and support that in-person instruction provides is a lifeline for many students.

    Only a few weeks out from the first day of classes, it is clear our city is not equipped to safely bring 1.1 million students back to school. For

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  • CUNY students

    CUNY students (photo: CUNY)


    UPDATE: Not long after the publication of this article, the Trump administration rescinded the directive at hand regarding international students, visas, and remote learning. “This is welcome news for more than 100,000 international students in New York, more than one million students across the country, and millions of additional families across the world,” said New York Attorney General Letitia James, who had filed suit. See more background below:

    CUNY Chancellor Félix V. Matos Rodríguez released a statement on Friday, July 10 that

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  • nice volunteers groc

    NICE staff and volunteers deliver groceries to workers impacted by COVID-19


    “The rags were so filthy, and we had no soap and little water to clean them, so we felt like we were spreading the virus in the subway car by our cleaning…We started on Monday, but they did not give us masks ‘til Wednesday…The gloves they gave us were for making sandwiches, not for cleaning! They would break, and there were no more, so we brought our own…I worry: How many people will get sick because these cars were “cleaned” this way?”
    -Susanna, a New Immigrant Community

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  • afsc or united

    SCOTUS will soon rule on DACA in some way (photo: @afsc_org)


    Scores of facebook messages and emails fill my inbox each day from immigrant youth protected under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program — the Obama-era initiative that provided work authorization and protection against deportation for undocumented immigrants brought to the country as children.

    They ask the same question: what will the U.S. Supreme Court decide on DACA. 

    Any day now, the nine justices will answer this question that will decide the fate of ...

  • cm dr holds

    As courts in NY reopen, the role of ICE will be top of mind for many (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    Courthouses in 30 upstate New York counties have begun the gradual process of restarting the state’s legal system. The pandemic has highlighted the urgent need for due process and just how critical access to justice is for New York’s most vulnerable communities. There remain, however, significant barriers for many who desperately need their day in court.

    For years, ICE has preyed on non-citizens in and around our courthouses, using fear and intimidation to

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  • cmcmadd hold pc

    Council Member Carlos Menchaca, the author (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    As in past crises, immigrant New Yorkers are suffering acutely under COVID-19: this time with a cruel twist. While thousands of immigrants work on the frontlines, caring for the sick, cleaning the subways, and keeping us all fed in quarantine, so many are unable to pay rent, keep their businesses afloat, or stay home because of their ...

  • voting gen elect

    Voters will have greater access to interpreters at the polls this fall (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    The still-new New York City Civic Engagement Commission is set to launch a poll-site language assistance program for the fall general election, expanding on the limited interpretation services that are currently provided by the Board of Elections. 

    As required by the Voting Rights Act, the Board of Elections only provides interpreters to assist at poll sites in Spanish, Korean, Chinese, and Bengali. But New York City residents speak more

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  • ebike leg

    The push for legalizing e-bikes continues (photo: @nily)


    Right now, our colleagues in Albany can deliver immediate justice and help keep New York fed and moving during a time of crisis. They must legalize electric-bikes in the state budget being finalized right now.

    As part of the effort to slow the spread of COVID-19, the de Blasio and Cuomo administrations announced this week that restaurants, bars, and cafes would close for dine-in customers, but that take-out and delivery would remain available. This move made it clear that New York City’s food delivery workers,

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  • ban refugee remarks

    (photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)


    Our nation has long been a beacon of hope for those fleeing their home country due to violence and persecution based on their race, nationality, religion, political beliefs, or membership in a social group. With resettlement as a refugee’s last option for safety, we have welcomed them and supported their successful integration in the United States for nearly 40 years with the establishment of the Refugee Resettlement Program.

    Under the Trump administration, however, this country’s proud tradition of

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  • immigratrion adv

    (photo: Make the Road New York)


    With the January session of the Legislature around the corner, the state’s largest immigrant services and advocacy organization is launching a broad platform of progressive legislative proposals and is preparing a major push for its passage.

    On Tuesday, Make the Road New York, a statewide organization that boasts 24,000 members, is releasing its Respect and Dignity Platform for 2020, which proposes removing ICE from courthouses across the state, instituting a good cause eviction law, and ending discrimination in school disciplinary

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  • 15847120715 332a005108 z

    (photo: William Alatriste/City Council)


    The Trump administration’s changes to the “public charge” policy are so ambiguous and poorly communicated as to leave little doubt about whether the resulting fear rippling through immigrant communities nationwide was baked into this bigoted scheme.

    Here in New York City, we refuse to follow the White House down this dark path. We are the home of Ellis Island, a town built with immigrant hands and made great by the diversity we celebrate. We will fight the imminent public charge policy changes with

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  • green light ny driver's licenses

    (photo: @EddieATaveras)


    As a former Suffolk county police officer and detective, I think a lot about what keeps our communities safer. And one thing I know is that our roads are safer when everyone who is driving is licensed and insured. That’s why, as a state legislator, I believe New York should let all qualified drivers, regardless of immigrant status, follow the same process to get a driver’s license.

    Driving is essential on Long Island. Throughout most of our region, you need a car to get to

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  • cm carlos menacha 2

    City Council Member Carlos Menchaca (photo: Jeff Reed/City Council)


    May 8, 2019 - Max & Murphy Podcast: Pressing Immigration Issues, with City Council Member Carlos Menchaca

    cm carlos menchaca wbai 150City Council Member Carlos Menchaca, chair of the Council's immigration committee and co-chair of its 2020 Census Task Force, joined the show to discuss a wide range of

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  • gov cuomo immigrant

    (photo: governor's office)


    Immigrants in New York are under attack. In New York City for example, despite municipal policies to welcome and protect immigrants, ICE arrests of immigrant individuals with no criminal convictions have rapidly increased. From fiscal year 2016 to fiscal year 2018, ICE non-criminal arrests in the New York City area increased by 414%.

    These increases reflect the president’s negative rhetoric and policies

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  • rob cher mbdb

    (Photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)


    Latino Americans now number close to 60 million and a significant share of the 18 million children therein have persistent achievement shortcomings. Unfortunately, Latinos are seen primarily through the lens of competing immigration narratives.

    Conservatives claim that they threaten American society: criminal activities, overuse of social services, and adverse effects on native-born workers, particularly less-educated black men. By contrast, pro–immigration activists point to positive examples, particularly

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  • 24128710992 658f50cdcf z

    (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    New Yorkers know that it is the city government’s job to make sure that they’re taken care of. We fill potholes, pick up the trash, clean the streets, clear the drains, prune the trees - you name it.

    But that’s not all we do. And while we faced many challenges as a city and as a nation in 2018, New Yorkers continue to step up and help their neighbors in need.

    Through our public health facilities, tens of thousands of dedicated professionals help their fellow New Yorkers put food on the table, help

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  • macaulay honors college

    (photo via CUNY Office of Communications)


    Every year thousands of undocumented youth graduate from high school with a singular hope of realizing their American Dream and making it to college. Too often, though, these dreams are deferred as immigrant youth are denied fair and equal access to state financial aid.

    There is a solution to this injustice: the New York Dream Act. The bill would promote education equity, ensuring that every student has an equal opportunity to fulfill their dream of attending college by allowing immigrant youth access to New

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  • mbdbgovanmcuomo lic

    Mayor de Blasio at the Amazon announcement (photo: Ed Reed/Mayor's Office)


    “I’m concerned about [New York] City being a sanctuary city, and your stated concern for New York City’s immigrants, and the contradiction of inviting one of ICE’s largest tech providers into our city.” That’s how Amy from Queens asked Mayor de Blasio about Amazon’s relationship with ICE (U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement) on WNYC’s The Brian Lehrer Show last Friday.  

    Mayor de Blasio told Amy, “If it turns out that Amazon has a contractual relationship with

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  • nyc map via city planning

    (image via New York City's City Planning Department)


    This is part of AGENDA 2019, a joint Gotham Gazette-City Limits project
    Find the rest of the series here

    “It might seem early, but given the challenges that are facing the decennial census in 2020, it’s not early enough,” said Steven Romalewski, director of the mapping service at the Center for Urban Research, CUNY Graduate Center. Advocates, government officials, and members of the business community all agree with

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