Today, the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs released its second Annual Report, “State of Our Immigrant City.” As the City agency dedicated to supporting NYC’s 3.2 million immigrant New Yorkers, MOIA has continued to solidify NYC’s status as the fairest big city in the country for all residents, regardless of immigration status.
The new Annual Report describes MOIA’s 2018 activities in detail, including advocating for equitable access to City services, leading rapid response to harmful federal proposals and policies from the Trump administration, and providing timely, critical information and analysis to community members and stakeholders. The report includes new and updated data on demographic characteristics of immigrant New Yorkers. In addition, the Annual Report describes the City’s fight against the Trump Administration’s family separation crisis and proposed changes to “public charge” rules.
The full report is available here.
“In New York City, we know that the contributions of immigrant communities help make this the greatest city in the world,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “Commissioner Mostofi and MOIA enshrine that perspective in City government and help us hold the line and drive forward with an agenda that helps us build a fairer city for all.”
“New York is a world class city in large part because over 3.1 million creative, inventive, hard-working New Yorkers from around the world have made this city their home,”
“New York is a world class city in large part because over 3.1 million creative, inventive, hard-working New Yorkers from around the world have made this city their home,” said Deputy Mayor for Strategic Policy Initiatives Phillip Thompson. “MOIA’s tireless work every day on behalf of and in coalition with immigrant communities makes our city even stronger. I look forward to continuing our work towards greater economic and social justice for all, regardless of immigration status or national origin.”
“Building the fairest big city in the country means expanding and protecting opportunity to all of our residents, regardless of immigration status,” said Bitta Mostofi, Commissioner of the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs. “While the federal government has focused on separating and detaining families or jeopardizing access to public services, we’ll continue to stand with our immigrant neighbors. As a child of immigrants myself, I am proud to serve this city and proud of what we’ve accomplished, working together with the rest of the Administration, the City Council, our local and national partners, and most of all our staff in this past year. Onward!”
“With the federal government shifting away from protecting vulnerable consumers and workforces, and creating anti-immigrant policies that foster an increasingly hostile environment for immigrants, we are committed to advocating on their behalf,” said Department of Consumer Affairs Commissioner Lorelei Salas. “As an immigrant myself, I am proud of our ongoing work with MOIA to protect our communities—from financial health of taxi drivers to workers’ rights to enforcement against predatory businesses that prey on immigrants. We are not just filling the gap in protections but we want all immigrants to know that the City of New York is here to support them—regardless of immigration status.”
“The Mayor’s Fund is proud to partner with MOIA on our shared goal of advancing fairness and equity for every resident of the five boroughs, including the more than three million immigrants who make New York City their home,” said Toya Williford, Executive Director of the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City. “Together in 2018, we were able to quickly respond to the needs of immigrant children who had been separated from their families, help more immigrants understand their rights, and reach more eligible New Yorkers with resources about applying for citizenship. We look forward to continuing our partnership and congratulate MOIA on its recent achievements.”
“The Mayor’s Office for Economic Opportunity is a proud partner with MOIA in their mission to promote the well-being of immigrant communities and advance immigrant inclusion,” said Vicky Virgin, Research Associate at the Mayor’s Office for Economic Opportunity (NYC Opportunity), whose work focuses on New York City’s immigrant community. “Our recently released Economic Profile of Immigrants in New York City introduced the first in-depth analysis of the economic disparities that exist among the foreign-born by legal status. We are pleased that this analysis informs MOIA’s important work to ensure the City advances a policy that is effectively tailored to address the needs of all New Yorkers, irrespective of immigration status.”
“New York City has been, and always will be, a city that respects, supports and protects its diverse communities, including the 3.2 million immigrants that call New York City home,” said Carmelyn P. Malalis, Chair and Commissioner of the NYC Commission on Human Rights. “While the federal government continues its unrelenting xenophobic and racist attacks on our immigrant communities, New York City is ever more committed to being a place that welcomes immigrants from every country on the globe, a place where the diversity of cultures, languages, art, music, food and so much more contribute immeasurably to the rich fabric of New York City. No one has permission to discriminate against or harass someone because of where they come from, what language they speak, or how they dress, and the Commission on Human Rights works hard every day to protect ALL New Yorkers. We are proud to work alongside MOIA and Commissioner Mostofi in that effort.”
“New York City has always been a proud city of immigrants and ACS will continue to do everything in our power to ensure that immigrant children and families are both safe and healthy,” said David A. Hansell, Commissioner of NYC’s Administration for Children’s Services (ACS). “Immigration status should never be a barrier to obtaining assistance or services through the child welfare system, and in New York City we’ve made major strides to ensure that all families have access to our services, regardless of immigration status. I want to thank Commissioner Mostofi for her tireless leadership to strengthen and support all NYC families.”
“New York is a city of immigrants, and we’ve worked closely our partners at the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs to make sure every resident has access to our city’s wide range of cultural assets, regardless of their background or status,” said Cultural Affairs Commissioner Tom Finkelpearl. “From organizations that provide free memberships to IDNYC card holders, to artists who have worked to build bridges between immigrant communities and government, we’re thrilled to see our colleagues embrace art as a powerful tool to bring people together and explore our city’s most pressing challenges.”
“The strength of our City is firmly rooted in its diversity and we take pride on assisting the millions of immigrants who call New York City home,” said Department of Social Services Commissioner Steven Banks. “At a time when the message from the federal government is one of fear and divisiveness, we are committed more than ever to enhancing the lives of all New Yorkers regardless of their immigration status.”
New data analysis about NYC’s immigrant population is available in the Annual Report. Major new findings include:
- NYC is home to more immigrants than ever before, while NYC’s undocumented population is at a 10-year low, mirroring national trends.
- The level of uninsured immigrant New Yorkers has declined from 36.1% to 21.9% in over a five-year period.
- The poverty rate among immigrant New Yorkers is significantly higher than for New Yorkers born in the United States. The poverty rate for undocumented NYC residents is more than 50% higher than the citywide average and nearly 75% higher than the average for U.S.-born residents.
- The number of City agency approvals of U and T visa certification requests, for victims of crime or trafficking, reached a record high of 863.
The report also sets forth MOIA’s goals and recommendations for the coming year. Economic and civic inclusion, such as through strengthening worker protections and expanding poll-site interpretation services, are important to the vitality of the entire city. Advocacy on the federal and state levels is critical, as new opportunities arise for action to strengthen immigrant communities, including implementation of the New York State DREAM Act and protecting DACA and TPS recipients. While that advocacy is ongoing, MOIA will continue its work to assist launching NYC Care, so that all New Yorkers have access to quality and affordable health care.
Additional notable statistics from the report about immigrant New Yorkers include:
- New Yorkers by Immigration Status: 62.8% U.S.-born citizens; 20.9% naturalized citizens; 11.0% green card holders or other status; 5.3% undocumented.
- Top Ten Countries of Birth for Immigrant New Yorkers, from Highest Population to Lowest: Dominican Republic; China; Jamaica; Mexico; Guyana; Ecuador; Bangladesh; Haiti; India; Trinidad & Tobago.
- Top Ten Languages of Immigrant New Yorkers with Limited English Proficiency (LEP), in Order: Spanish, Chinese, Russian, Bengali, Korean, Haitian, Arabic, French, Urdu, and Polish.
- Nearly 60 percent of New Yorkers live in households with at least one immigrant.
- Over one million New Yorkers live in mixed-status households, in which at least one person is undocumented.
- Of these one million New Yorkers, 277,000 are children, and three-fourths of these children are U.S.-born citizens.
- 77.4 percent of undocumented immigrants (age 16 and older) are in the labor force, compared to 64.9 percent of all New Yorkers.
- Immigrant New Yorkers contributed $228 billion to the city’s GDP, over a quarter of its total.
- 22 percent of immigrant New Yorkers lack health insurance, compared to 7 percent of U.S.-born New Yorkers.
- 47.1 percent of undocumented New Yorkers lack health insurance.
- 18.6 percent of undocumented children (under age 19) in NYC lack health insurance, compared to 2.1 percent of U.S.-born children, even though universal coverage is available to all children regardless of immigration status in New York State.
The full report, which can be accessed here, has a wealth of additional information about immigrant New Yorkers, MOIA programming and advocacy, and more policy recommendations for federal and state policymakers, including enacting driver’s licenses for all New Yorkers.
“This report is great news for immigrant New Yorkers,” said Council Member Daniel Dromm, Chair of the Committee on Finance. “The data contained within it outlines the good work NYC has carried out in support of our immigrant families. The report’s findings can also help NYC agencies improve access for English language learners, bolster cultural competency training for city staff, and much more. As lead sponsor of Local Law 185 which calls for the issuance of this report, I am pleased to have worked alongside the administration and my colleagues in the Council to ensure that NYC government serves all of our city’s diverse communities.”
“As the fight to protect immigrant New Yorkers has expanded and deepened, MOIA’s annual report has been indispensable in focusing the Council’s attention,” said City Council Member Carlos Menchaca, Chair of the Committee on Immigration. “Just like last year’s inaugural report, I am confident that the second annual report will help direct our attention during oversight hearings and activities. MOIA continues to be a resource and a partner and we look forward to reviewing the report’s findings.”
“As the only women-led worker and community center serving and organizing the Nepali-speaking refugee and immigrant community, Adhikaar is proud to have worked hand in hand with the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs on a number of different issues, but most prominently on our fight for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) this past year,” said Narbada Chhetri, Director of Organizing & Programs at Adhikaar. “With one of the highest concentrations of Nepali TPS holders nationally in New York City, the services, language support and public education initiatives that MOIA supported us on this year were integral to ensuring that our community knew the city was on their side.”
“In the current political climate of fear for immigrants everywhere, and at a time when Asian Americans, specifically Chinese Americans, have the majority of active cases in NYC immigration courts, this report provides critical insights on the issues that immigrant New Yorkers face,” said Wayne Ho, President & CEO of the Chinese-American Planning Council. “We are grateful for the continued partnership of the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs with community based organizations like CPC to ensure that all immigrant New Yorkers can thrive.”
“Knowledge is power and the annual report on The State of the Immigrant City is a vital resource as we continue on our path towards greater empowerment,” said Angela Fernandez, Executive Director of Northern Manhattan Coalition for Immigrant Rights. “We congratulate MOIA Commissioner Bitta Mostofi for creating and publishing this critical report.”
“Muslim Community Network lauds the work of MOIA in helping to keep our communities informed about key policy changes that impact the lives of immigrant New Yorkers,” said Aniqa Nawabi, Executive Director of MCN. “We feel that they are a reliable and supportive city agency that is truly making the effort to ensure that our communities are protected. By connecting with community based organizations that work directly with those impacted, MOIA is able to strengthen the infrastructure of these organizations while leveraging the cultural and linguistic expertise which is critical for immigrants to access.”