Commissioner Raquel Batista, Mayor's Office of Immigrant Affairs
As Commissioner of the Mayor's Office of Immigrant Affairs (MOIA), Raquel Batista leads the agency’s efforts to make New York City a more just and accessible place for immigrant families. As the City charts a recovery for all from the COVID-19 pandemic, and while immigrant communities are still bearing the brunt of its impact, Commissioner Batista is advocating for a New York City that goes beyond the status quo to even further integrate and empower immigrant New Yorkers to reach their fullest potential. Her commitment to centering immigrant communities is helping to shape a more equitable pandemic recovery and strengthen MOIA’s relationships with immigrant New Yorkers and the agency’s many partners.
Throughout her career, Commissioner Batista has been a strong advocate for immigrant New Yorkers and an educator working to advance inclusive immigration law. Prior to MOIA, she served as a Community Legal Fellow at CUNY Law School - CLRN. She also served as an Adjunct Professor at Manhattan College teaching Immigration Law, Policy and Politics and at the Latin American and Puerto Rican Studies Department at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice.
Previously, Batista served as the Executive Director of the Northern Manhattan Coalition for Immigrant Rights and as a board member of the New York Immigration Coalition, North Star Community Funding Board and the Hispanic Scholarship Fund Alumni Board. In 2014, she served in the Mayor’s Office of Appointments where she helped identify diverse candidates for City positions.
Batista earned her Juris Doctorate from the City University of New York School of Law at Queens College and her Bachelor of Arts in Government and Sociology from Manhattan College. Before and during that time, she joined the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund (now LatinoJustice/PRLDEF) in various roles, advancing their efforts on issues ranging from the census to redistricting.
A second generation Afro-Dominicana, Latina, and lifelong New Yorker, Commissioner Batista has been advocating for the rights of immigrant New Yorkers for over two decades. As a longtime advocate for immigrants, particularly in Latino communities, she believes that our government and leaders must center the needs of our immigrant communities and better integrate them into the fabric of our city to ensure economic growth and opportunity for all New Yorkers. Commissioner Batista currently lives with her daughter in Manhattan.