MOIA on the ‘State of Our Immigrant City’

The NYC Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs on March 19 issued its first annual report on the “State of Our Immigrant City,” detailing the work it has done to help provide extensive legal and other services to immigrants, offering statistics on the immigrant populations of the city, and affirming the city’s dedication, as Mayor Bill de Blasio states in his introductory message, to “use every tool at our disposal to protect the freedoms and well-being of all our residents.”

Acting MOIA commissioner Bitta Mostofi observes that it is “immigrant New Yorkers who make our city so rich civically, culturally and economically.” The report notes that “immigrants own 52 percent of New York City’s businesses, and in 2017, immigrants contributed an estimated $195 billion to the city’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), or about 22 percent of the city’s total GDP.” About 38 percent of New York’s residents and 45 percent of its workforce consist of foreign-born individuals.

Among the accomplishments MOIA reports in serving immigrants in 2017:

  • In collaboration with the nonprofit Mujeres en Movimiento, picture-based materials about important MOIA services were distributed to 7,000 people in immigrant communities in Queens.
  • Action NYC, the city’s community-based immigration legal services program, provided more than 8,000 comprehensive legal screenings and had a 97 percent success rate for cases adjudicated in 2017.
  • MOIA’s Language Services provided 433 onsite interpreters at 153 MOIA and Mayoral events, and coordinated the translation of 76 MOIA documents, including outreach material.
  • Work with city agencies to support the effective provision of U and T visa certifications to immigrant victims of qualifying crimes resulted in 712 U and T visa certifications being issued, an increase of 37 percent over the previous calendar year. Interagency collaboration helps immigrant crime victims obtain legal protections and contributes to public safety by protecting vulnerable immigrant who support law enforcement investigations.

MOIA’s report states that approximately 62 percent of New Yorkers live in households with at least one immigrant, including approximately 1 million New Yorkers who live in mixed-status households (where at least one person is undocumented). For more statistics, graphics and details about immigrants in NYC, go to MOIA’s report.

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