MOIA's 2019 Annual Report
In 2018, the Trump Administration continued its relentless attacks on immigrants, pursuing abhorrent policies and practices such as family separation, a proposed new “public charge” rule, and increased immigration enforcement against residents who pose no public safety threat. In this time of crisis for immigrant New Yorkers, the City demonstrated that its commitment to serving all New Yorkers was unwavering. MOIA led the charge, forging and strengthening interagency partnerships to deliver important City services and critical information to our immigrant communities. The day-to-day work of MOIA and our sister agencies is driven by the reality that the integration of immigrants is directly tied to the well-being of all New Yorkers and that an inclusive city is a thriving city.
The report is issued to the Mayor and the Speaker of the City Council in accordance with Local Law 185 of 2017, which mandates annual reporting on the City's immigrant population and MOIA's activities during the previous calendar year. It provides a demographic overview of New York City’s immigrant population and households, and describes barriers faced by these communities, particularly due to increasingly hostile federal immigration policy developments. It outlines MOIA’s programs and activities in 2018, as well as the challenges ahead in 2019. Highlights include:
- New data findings. Based on the latest data, we see that as the number of immigrants in New York City continues to grow, the number of undocumented immigrants living in New York City has been on the decline. The data also show that immigration status correlates with other demographic disparities such as poverty rate, English proficiency, housing, and health.
- MOIA rapid response efforts. MOIA led the City’s quick actions to address anti-immigrant federal policies, including the cruel family separation crisis. Beyond acting swiftly to provide crucial information to immigrant New Yorkers about these and other developments, MOIA’s coordination enabled City agencies to respond to communities’ needs in ways that were informed directly by providers and community leaders. For example, MOIA worked with city agencies and advocates to share accurate and timely information to communities leading up to and upon the formal announcement of the proposed “public charge” rule change, which would attach immigration consequences to the receipt of certain public benefits. MOIA also engaged in a powerful campaign to drive public comments to the Federal Register regarding the proposed rule.
- Enduring commitment to community outreach. In response to the multitude of federal immigration policy changes, MOIA, in partnership with community-based organizations, connected immigrant New Yorkers to the information they needed through various Know Your Rights (KYR) events across the five boroughs. In 2018, MOIA conducted 681 KYR forums. Through these KYRs and outreach, MOIA engaged 18,000 individuals – nearly a 40% increase from the previous year.
- Implementing the City’s expanded investments in immigration legal services. MOIA continued to work with the Human Resource Administration’s Office of Civil Justice to expand the City’s investments in immigration legal services including removal defense, support for separated families and unaccompanied children, and expanding immigrant legal services in Chinese, Korean, and South Asian immigrant communities.
- New forms of joint advocacy with other cities. MOIA worked with our partners across the nation to issue multi-city sign-on letters and statements to push back against the threats posed to cities by Trump Administration immigration policies. These included providing cities’ perspective on the Administration’s attempts to terminate Temporary Protection Status for El Salvador, Honduras, and Somalia; the implementation of the travel ban; and the proposed “public charge” rule change. Additionally, MOIA coordinated the first-ever Cities Taking Action: Municipal Best Practices Conference, in Boston, MA, at which staff from 40 cities and counties shared technical expertise on local policies and programs that further their immigrant residents’ well-being.
With new challenges ahead in 2019, MOIA will build on this work to continue to protect and empower all of our city’s residents and families. MOIA is helping to make our city one that is more equitable for all, and providing a model for cities across the country.
Download the full report