March 24, 2022
New York—The NYC Mayor's Office of Immigrant Affairs (MOIA) Commissioner Manuel Castro today released MOIA's 2021 Report on the city's immigrant population and the office's activities.
The report highlights the impact of MOIA and showcases the work done to respond to the challenges that many immigrant New Yorkers faced during calendar year 2021. Throughout the year, MOIA:
"We live in the most diverse place on earth, and that is what makes New York City the greatest city in the world," said New York City Mayor Eric Adams. "It is critical that immigrant communities understand all the recovery resources available to them and have access to the support needed to fully recover and live with dignity and justice. There is still more work to be done to dismantle the systems that marginalize and exclude immigrant communities. We will continue to be a place that upholds acceptance, inclusion, and understanding towards all New Yorkers who call this city home."
"With more than 200 languages spoken across all five boroughs and three million immigrants, New York is truly a global city. We know there is work to do to support our sisters, brothers, and little ones from the Dominican Republic, China, Bangladesh, and so many other countries as they make NYC their home. MOIA's 2021 Annual Report showcases the important work being done from linguistic diversity to ensuring access to vital city services," said Anne Williams-Isom, Deputy Mayor of Health and Human Services. "I look forward to continued work with MOIA and partners in the field to support immigrants across the city."
"MOIA is proud to present its newly designed 2021 report detailing the work our office has done to close the access gap between immigrant communities and government services," said Manuel Castro, Commissioner of the NYC Mayor's Office of Immigrant Affairs (MOIA). "Under the leadership of Mayor Adams and working alongside our fellow sister agencies, community partners, elected officials, and other stakeholders, MOIA will continue to ensure NYC is place where immigrant New Yorkers can live with dignity and justice.
In 2021, the city entered its second year of the COVID-19 pandemic and focused its efforts on recovery programs and the key to NYC: vaccinations. As the mayoral office devoted to empowering over 3 million immigrant New Yorkers who speak over 200 languages, MOIA continued to ensure that immigrants were included in these efforts through advocacy, outreach, information-sharing, and community empowerment.
This report reviews the critical role MOIA played in working with the new federal administration to push for immigration reform, combat the inequities and impacts of COVID-19, Hurricane Ida, and other disasters, participate in emergency response efforts for the Afghan + Haitian refugee crises, and advise other City agencies on the development and implementation of policies affecting immigrant New Yorkers.
While the report presents a snapshot of the City's work in this area, it does not cover the totality of work that MOIA and other New York City agencies do to serve immigrants. To view the full report and learn more about the Mayor's Office of Immigrant Affairs, visit nyc.gov/immigrants.
"Today's report demonstrates the urgent and necessary work MOIA has been able to do despite the incredible challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic," said Immigration Committee Chair Council Member Shahana Hanif. "From the hundreds of Know Your Rights presentations to the dozens of Adult Literacy Courses, MOIA is an essential agency in our City government serving hundreds of thousands of immigrants each year. In a City of immigrants, we should be looking to expand MOIA's programming abilities with the goal of being able to offer every one of its services to every immigrant in every borough."
"The volume of calls and screenings speak to the ongoing need for information and resources our immigrant community has, especially after enduring so much hardship during this pandemic. Access to these resources in a culturally relevant and timely manner, and in language will be critical as the city works on its recovery from COVID-19 to ensure no person is left behind," said Council Member Francisco Moya, Chair of the Subcommittee on COVID-19 Recovery and Resiliency.
"Our immigrant neighbors are essential to the fabric of this city. They earn their living here, pay taxes here, and send their children to schools here. They invest in and rely on the health and stability of our City and institutions and deserve a say in its stewardship," said Council Member Pierina Sanchez, Member of the Committee on Immigration Pierina Sanchez. "These past years have been particularly difficult for our immigrant families, and I am glad MOIA has been out across so many of our communities' connecting families with access to government services and participation. Continuing to provide and also expanding resources to our immigrant community must remain our priority."
"A top priority for me as a member of the City Council is making sure that government is accessible to our immigrant New Yorkers, and that means engaging them in their communities in the languages they speak," said Council Member Sandra Ung. "As the representative of a district that has a large immigrant population with limited English proficiency, I know they often feel excluded from the governing process. I am grateful for the work the Mayor's Office of Immigrant Affairs did in 2021 to address the specific challenges of our immigrant communities, and I look forward to working with Commissioner Manuel Castro and his team to accomplish even more in the coming year."
"As we continue to emerge from this pandemic, we are reminded of the incredibly vital role our immigrant communities have played in helping sustain and rebuild New York City during times of crisis," said Department of Social Services Commissioner Gary P. Jenkins. "We are proud of all that we've achieved in partnership with MOIA as part of our shared mission to serve and support our immigrant neighbors in need, and we remain focused on taking this progress even further as we continue to build a more inclusive and equitable City for all New Yorkers -- regardless of immigration status."
"Public health compels us to work in the places, spaces and languages of the people we intend to reach, especially those communities that have historically been left behind", said NYC Health Commissioner Dr. Ashwin Vasan. "MOIA has been a valued partner in helping us expand our ability to speak with New Yorkers in order to get them important information about their health, and to address critical health inequities."
"Immigrants are the very foundational fabric of our economy, our communities, and our city," said Department of Consumer and Worker Protection Commissioner Vilda Vera Mayuga. "As a Latina, I'm proud that our agency is committed to reaching and fighting for immigrant New Yorkers. We thank MOIA for their valuable partnership in our work to combat fraud, support workers' rights, and financially empower our immigrant communities so they have a stronger, more equitable recovery from the pandemic."
"I want to commend the Mayor's Office of Immigrant Affairs for connecting generations of immigrants with so many vital resources, including NYC Care – our health care access program that guarantees free or low-cost services to New Yorkers who are not eligible for insurance or cannot afford it," said NYC Health + Hospitals President and CEO Mitchell Katz, MD. "MOIA and NYC Health + Hospitals are united in our commitment to serve everyone regardless of their immigration status because we believe that everyone deserves high-quality, affordable health care."
"Through our partnership with the Mayor's Office of Immigrant Affairs, we are able to ensure that our immigrant communities receive outreach in multiple languages to prepare, respond and recover from emergencies," said NYC Emergency Management Commissioner Zach Iscol. "New York City is made richer every day by the contributions of our immigrant communities, and we will continue to work with our partners to incorporate language access, cultural sensitivity and training into our messaging and actions."
"This report is a testament to MOIA's tireless work to empower our City's vibrant immigrant communities," said Kevin D. Kim, Commissioner of the NYC Department of Small Business Services. "Because approximately half of all small businesses in New York City are immigrant-owned, the City's full economic recovery is closely tied to the success of these very businesses. We look forward to continuing our work with MOIA to ensure that all immigrant-owned small businesses take full advantage of all SBS resources to help them succeed."
"Our immigrant communities are integral to the fabric of New York City's heart and soul," said the Mayor's Office to End Domestic and Gender-Based Violence Commissioner Cecile Noel. "Ensuring this population has access to vital resources to help them thrive is essential for our city's wellbeing. We applaud the tremendous efforts of the Mayor's Office of Immigrant Affairs in engaging and empowering immigrants citywide. And we thank them for their partnership in addressing domestic and gender-based violence experienced by immigrant New Yorkers."
"The work we do at PEU to connect New Yorkers to critical housing and healthcare resources extends to all New Yorkers, regardless of immigration status, and we are honored to work in partnership with MOIA to support NYC's immigrant and undocumented communities," said Mayor's Public Engagement Unit Executive Director Adrienne Lever. "MOIA's annual report highlights the importance of direct community outreach and we look forward to continuing to work with MOIA to bring services to the doorsteps of New Yorkers in need."
"The Mayor's Office to Protect Tenants commends our sister office, the Mayor's Office of Immigrant Affairs, for their tremendous work supporting immigrant New Yorkers, particularly given the hardships of the pandemic," said Greta Aiken, Manager of Enforcement and Engagement Initiatives at MOPT. "I've been consistently impressed not only by MOIA's commitment and service to its constituents, but also by how well it has supported other agencies and offices like MOPT to ensure our work is inclusive of New Yorkers across communities and languages. As is reflected in the Annual Report, MOIA's work has been impactful."
"Immigrants make up the overwhelming majority of taxi and for-hire vehicle drivers in New York – they are literally the people who drive this city," said Taxi and Limousine Commission Acting Commissioner Ryan Wanttaja. "We are always proud to partner with MOIA to address the needs of New York's immigrant population, whether they be licensed drivers or the riding public, and we applaud MOIA's excellent work to identify and address the issues facing immigrant New Yorkers as presented in this report."
"New York City proudly stands with its immigrant communities and we are deeply proud of our work with MOIA to support families through very difficult times," said HPD Commissioner Adolfo Carrión Jr. "Working with MOIA, through Project Parachute, we've helped keep vulnerable New Yorkers in their homes, connect families affected by disasters to emergency shelter, and promote valuable housing resources like our Housing Ambassadors to immigrant New Yorkers. We commend MOIA's tenacious advocacy as detailed in their latest report. It is through efforts like these that we're ensuring all communities have the support they deserve."
The NYC Mayor's Office of Immigrant Affairs (MOIA) promotes the well-being of NYC's immigrant communities by advocating for policies that increase justice, equity, and empowerment. MOIA leads, supports, and manages programs that help to successfully include immigrant New Yorkers into the civic, economic, and cultural life of the City. For more information on all MOIA services and the City's many resources for immigrant New Yorkers, go to nyc.gov/immigrants; call the MOIA hotline at 212-788-7654 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday to Friday or send an email to AskMOIA@cityhall.nyc.gov; and follow us on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn.