Gotham Gazette

The Place for New York Policy and politics

immigrant communities

immigrant communities

  • 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

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  • 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

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  • 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

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  • 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

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  • 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

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  • 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

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  • 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

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  • Funding for Adult Literacy and Other Immigrant Services To Be Contested in City Budget Negotiations

    Council Member Shahana Hanif (photo: @ShahanaFromBK)


    How city government is addressing the needs of immigrant communities is shaping up to be one of several key issues as Mayor Eric Adams and the New York City Council negotiate the next city budget, due by the July 1 start of the new city fiscal year.

    Among a series of March hearings held by the Council on Mayor Adams’ $98.5 billion preliminary budget plan, representatives from the Mayor’s Office on Immigrant Affairs (MOIA) and advocates appeared before Council members to

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  • Time for New York to Act: Everyone Deserves Quality Health Care, No Matter Their Immigration Status

    Avoiding the emergency room (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    Mateo first came to the United States to be a caregiver for his terminally ill brother, who had cancer. Shortly after his brother passed away, Mateo went to a regular doctor’s check-up. He had not been feeling well lately. After further tests, doctors determined that his kidneys were failing. Since then, Mateo has been reliant on hemodialysis, a treatment intended to help a patient with kidney failure survive while they wait for a transplant.

    New York Department of Labor Sued Over Failure to Release Unemployment Insurance Information

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    Gov. Hochul presents data (photo: Kevin P. Coughlin/Governor's Office)


    An advocacy group for low-income communities is suing New York State for documents and data that could shed light on the struggle of non-English speakers to get unemployment insurance during the pandemic.

    The National Center for Law and Economic Justice (NCLEJ), a legal advocacy organization, filed a lawsuit in New York State Supreme Court last week against the state Department of Labor for documents the group requested under the state Freedom of Information Law.

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  • 'There's Absolutely More Need': Catalina Cruz on Aid for Immigrant New Yorkers, the Assembly Cuomo Investigation & More

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    Assemblymember Cruz, middle, with Governor Hochul (photo: @CatalinaCruzNY)


    “My neighbors speak more than 150 languages. We have folks from all over the world who call this beautiful community their home. They are small business owners, they are first responders, they are frontline workers, we also have Elmhurst hospital. It’s just a beautiful, beautiful community that I am extremely proud to represent,” said Assemblymember Catalina Cruz, a Democrat who represents the 39th Assembly district, made up of Corona, Elmhurst, and Jackson Heights in Queens.

    Appearing on a...

  • Max Politics Podcast: Assemblymember Catalina Cruz on Pro-Immigrant Policies & More

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    Assemblymember Catalina Cruz, center (photo: @CatalinaCruzNY)


    September 29, 2021 - Max Politics Podcast: Assemblymember Catalina Cruz on Aid for Immigrant New Yorkers & More

    Assemblymember Catalina Cruz, a Queens Democrat, joined the show to discuss two state programs to help undocumented immigrants, other work she's doing as chair of the Assembly's Task Force on New Americans, the Assembly judiciary committee's investigation of former Governor Andrew Cuomo, and more.

    Listen to the conversation and let us know

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  • Max Politics Podcast: City Council Member Carlos Menchaca on the Push for Noncitizen Voting & More

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    Council Member Menchaca (photo: William Alatriste/City Council)


    September 22, 2021 - Max Politics Podcast: City Council Member Carlos Menchaca on the Push for Noncitizen Voting & More

    City Council Member Carlos Menchaca, a Brooklyn Democrat and chair of the Council's immigration committee, joined the show to discuss legislation that would extend municipal voting rights to permanent resident green card-holders and other issues he's working on.

    Listen to the conversation and let us know what you think, on

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  • Max Politics Podcast: New York's $2.1 Billion Excluded Workers Fund

    New York's $2.1 Billion 'Excluded Workers Fund' is Open

    An Excluded Workers Fund rally (photo: Senator Michael Gianaris' Office)


    August 20, 2021 - Max Politics Podcast: New York's $2.1 Billion 'Excluded Workers Fund'

    Assemblymember Carmen De La Rosa and Bianca Guerrero, campaign coordinator of the Fund Excluded Workers Coalition, joined the show to discuss the state's $2.1 billion Excluded Workers Fund that was created to help New Yorkers who lost work and income due to the pandemic but were ineligible for other state and federal

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  • Max Politics Podcast: What's Next for New York City's Immigrant Communities

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    Immigrant advocacy (photo: Jeff Reed/City Council)


    July 22, 2021 - Max Politics Podcast: What's Next for New York City's Immigrant Communities

    Murad Awawdeh, executive director of New York Immigration Coalition and New York Immigration Coalition Action, joined the show to discuss key issues facing the city's immigrant communities, NYIC's advocacy agenda at the city, state and federal levels of government, the recent city primary elections, his hopes for a likely Mayor Eric Adams, and more.

    Listen to the

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  • Federal Infrastructure Plan Must Include a Path to Citizenship for Immigrants

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    Becoming citizens (photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)


    In his first several months in office, President Biden has taken significant steps to reverse the harm imposed by President Trump’s cruelty that devastated immigrant communities, including working to reunite families separated at the border, reversing the Muslim ban, announcing the closure of ICE detention facilities, and reinstating Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Haiti. Yet, when it comes to the most urgent demand of immigrant communities — creating a

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  • Future of Immigrant Communities the Focus of Brooklyn City Council Race

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    Council Member Menchaca & others at a community fridge (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    With City Council Member Carlos Menchaca among the three dozen members of the 51-seat Council facing term limits this year, there is a competitive Democratic primary unfolding to replace him in Brooklyn’s 38th District, which is centered in Red Hook and Sunset Park, and also includes parts of Greenwood Heights, Windsor Terrace, Dyker Heights, and Boro Park. Menchaca, a Democrat, has held the seat for two terms, nearing eight years. Given the

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  • Democratic Mayoral Candidates Talk Issues of Importance to Immigrant Communities

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    (l-r) Shaun Donovan, Maya Wiley, Andrew Yang, Dianne Morales, Scott Stringer


    At a virtual forum on Thursday night, four of the leading Democratic candidates for mayor in the June primary weighed in on issues affecting New York City’s large immigrant population, including housing, education, employment, and participation in the political process.

    Hosted by the New York Immigration Coalition (NYIC), one of the largest immigrant advocacy groups in the state, the forum was the first one focused solely on immigrants and was simultaneously

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  • The Health of Our Cities Depends on DACA, and a Path to Citizenship for Dreamers

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    DACA supporters (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    President Biden has taken steps to make the lives of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients better by introducing a bill that has expedited a pathway to citizenship for them. While preserving and even fortifying DACA is a necessary immediate step, merely restoring the program’s initial provisions is no longer enough. What we owe DACA recipients is what we owe all immigrants who have contributed to our country: a pathway to permanent residency or citizenship so they can plan a

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  • Immigrant, Black, and Brown New Yorkers Need Albany to Deliver a Recovery for All

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    New York budget season has begun (photo: Make The Road New York)


    Immigrant, Black, and brown New Yorkers have experienced unspeakable losses and suffered catastrophic economic consequences throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Community members have lost loved ones and lost jobs at disproportionate levels, and struggled week after week to try to pay their rent and feed their families. And they have made very clear that they expect bold, transformational solutions from state government to meet the scale of the need.

    Unfortunately, Governor Cuomo

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  • Leading Immigrant Advocacy Group Backs Reynoso for Brooklyn Borough President

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    Antonio Reynoso (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    One of New York’s most prominent immigrant advocacy groups is backing City Council Member Antonio Reynoso’s campaign for Brooklyn borough president to replace the outgoing Eric Adams, who is term-limited.

    Reynoso, a Democrat who is also facing term limits, was endorsed on Friday by Make the Road Action, the political arm of Make the Road New York, a nonprofit organization with more than 24,000 members that advocates for rights and services for immigrants. Reynoso is seeking the Democratic

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  • Trump Decimated Refugee Admittance; Biden Promises Massive Expansion — What it Means in New York

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    A New York City rally in support of asylum-seeking refugees (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    As part of a systematic dismantling of providing asylum to refugees in the United States, the Trump administration in October 2020 reduced the cap on resettling refugees in the country to just 15,000 for fiscal year 2021, which runs from October 1, 2020 to September 30, 2021, down from 18,000 for fiscal year 2020, and from 85,000 in the last year of the Obama administration.

    These reductions have a significant impact not only on those seeking refuge in the United

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  • New York Must Protect Our Immigrant-Owned Small Businesses

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    Small businesses are the lifeblood for so many (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    As cases of COVID-19 rise once again, New York is faced with a second wave that could force “nonessential” businesses to shutter their doors, and for many this may be permanent. This would hinder profitable operations and wipe out families’ income without proper support. In the Bronx and across New York City, we are powered by immigrant-owned small businesses that are essential to

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  • New York Advocates Launch $1 Million Campaign for Federal Immigration Reform

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    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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