Annual Report

MOIA's 2020 Annual Report

Cover of the 2020 Annual Report

The New York City Mayor's Office of Immigrant Affairs (MOIA) promotes the well-being and full inclusion of immigrant New Yorkers in the City's civic, economic, and cultural life. Through initiatives and collaborative partnerships with City agencies, elected officials, sister cities, community-based organizations, and advocates, MOIA leads and supports a range of programs and policies that empower immigrant communities. As experts on immigration policy, community engagement, and social justice, MOIA strives to mitigate the hardships of immigrant New Yorkers by advancing economic justice and access to due process, legal, language, and health services while advocating for immigration reform at all levels of government.

This report reviews MOIA's work in 2020 that demonstrates New York City's commitment to supporting our immigrant communities throughout the pandemic, and fighting back against the Trump Administration's federal anti-immigrant policies. Under the leadership of Mayor Bill de Blasio, and with the City Council's coordination and support, MOIA's work has helped ensure the City's unwavering commitment to protecting, serving, and safeguarding the rights of all New Yorkers and ensuring they have support in their time of need, regardless of immigration status.

To assess the state of our immigrant city, this report provides a demographic overview of our immigrant population, describes barriers faced by these communities, and outlines the programs and activities that MOIA conducted to help address these challenges. The report also tracks the impacts of the pandemic on immigrant New Yorkers and highlights areas where their communities are still in need of support.

Highlights of MOIA's 2020 Annual Report include:

  • Tracking COVID-19 impact to immigrant communities through data. In 2020, MOIA produced original research that helped to inform the debate and advocacy around inclusion of immigrant communities in pandemic relief, as well as research that helped to track the impacts of significant immigration developments, such as the public charge rule. The data also show that in 2019, New York City's non-citizen population experienced a decline for the second year.

  • Responding to the inequities of COVID-19. MOIA worked to help counter the crushing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, which disproportionately ravaged the communities we serve, by creating innovative solutions to address gaps in federal relief, engaging in creative outreach, expanding language access, and by advocating for pro-immigrant policies at every level of government.

  • Institutionalizing legal services and support. Recognizing the continuing demand for immigration legal services that is expected to further increase under the new federal administration, MOIA worked to institutionalize its legal services programs and embed the ActionNYC programs into the City's civil legal services infrastructure.

  • Empowering immigrants to be counted and participate in civic society. MOIA collaborated with the NYC Census 2020 team to empower all New Yorkers to get counted through virtual and in-person events, direct sign-ups, and amplification of Census messaging through all public channels and other programs like We Speak NYC.

  • Advocating extensively at all levels of government in the last year of the Trump administration. Whether it was sharing crucial information about public charge, launching a campaign in support of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), or joining the fight in court against the government's attempt to increase U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) immigration fees, MOIA worked with our partners across City government and across the country to push against anti-immigrant policies and rhetoric.

In 2021, MOIA will continue to build on this work to serve, protect, and empower all New Yorkers, while helping to ensure our city — and our pandemic recovery — is inclusive, equitable, and just for all.

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