Commissioner Bitta Mostofi, Mayor's Office of Immigrant Affairs
As Commissioner of the Mayor's Office of Immigrant Affairs (MOIA), Bitta Mostofi has worked tirelessly to make New York City a more just and accessible place for immigrant families. At a time when anti-immigrant sentiments drive federal policy, Bitta envisions a New York where immigrants thrive and realize their fullest potential. Bitta's robust, strategic coordination of policy, outreach, communications, and programs have empowered communities to work alongside MOIA in advocating for equity, resources, and justice.
Among her achievements in public service, Bitta led the campaign to bring IDNYC to more than 1.3 million people. This groundbreaking initiative broadened access to government-issued identification and services, and deepened immigrant communities' sense of belonging in our city.
Under Bitta's leadership as Commissioner, MOIA has championed health care for all and collaborated with NYC Health and Hospitals on NYC Care, a major initiative to ensure that all New Yorkers—regardless of immigration status or ability to pay—can access quality, affordable healthcare in New York City. As Bitta deepened civic engagement with immigrant communities, she directed the launch of Know Your Rights education in workplaces and communities, as well as poll-site interpretation services for limited English proficient New Yorkers and an effort to adopt poll-site interpretation services into New York City's charter.
When the federal administration sought to separate immigrant children from their parents, escalate immigration enforcement efforts, and attack Dreamers, Bitta led the City's aggressive response to combat these egregious policies through litigation against the public charge rule, the launch of rapid response legal and outreach support to address immigration enforcement, and the fight to defend DACA at the federal level.
Prior to MOIA, Bitta served as a Senior Staff Attorney at Safe Horizon, where she represented immigrant crime victims, asylees, and families in their cases before the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and Department of Justice, while also leading Safe Horizon's advocacy campaigns at local and federal levels. Bitta continues to amplify public awareness of global human rights injustices, particularly the plight of refugees from Iran and Iraq, through community organizing and advocacy.
After receiving her law degree from DePaul University in Chicago, Bitta joined the Council on American Islamic Relations where she spearheaded legal advocacy efforts for Muslim and Middle Eastern communities who had suffered from discriminatory impacts of post-9/11 policies while pursuing citizenship.
A proud daughter of Iranian immigrants, Bitta became passionate about community organizing and service from a young age. An early anti-war organizer and human rights advocate, Bitta believes that the struggle for justice must center the needs and voices of our communities. She lives with her husband and daughter in Brooklyn.
Bitta is the 2019 winner of the Arab American Association of New York's Get the Job Done Award, the recipient of the Beacon Award presented by the Ellis Island Honors Society and The American Immigrant Society, and the Public Service Award from the Iranian American Bar Association-NY Chapter. Bitta received a New York Emmy Award for her role in producing Rolando's Rights, a video for MOIA's We Speak NYC English learning program about a group of workers who learn about and work together to assert and claim their worker rights. Under Bitta's leadership, MOIA, in collaboration with Better World Advertising, received the 2015 Communicator Award in Public Advertising for the IDNYC marketing campaign.