MAYOR’S OFFICE OF IMMIGRANT AFFAIRS STEPS FORWARD TO GUIDE IMMIGRANTS ON THEIR RIGHTS AND KEY CITY SERVICES

NEW YORK CITY (TIP): On July 7, 2016, Commissioner Nisha Agarwal of the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs (MOIA) held a press briefing at CUNY’s Center for Community and Ethnic Media to inform immigrant New Yorkers of their rights and of Mayor Bill de Blasio and MOIA’s commitment to connecting all immigrant New Yorkers to key city services as well as programs like IDNYC, ActionNYC, and ActionHealthNYC, which address needs that are specific to immigrant communities.

First, Commissioner Nisha Agarwal expressed Mayor Bill de Blasio and MOIA’s deep disappointment with the Supreme Court decision. On June 23, the Supreme Court issued a tie decision about the President’s executive actions on immigration. As a result of the tie, immigrants cannot apply for Expanded DACA and DAPA programs. Commissioner Agarwal stressed that now is the time for immigrants to get connected to their communities as well as important services that are offered by NYC city government. This includes immigrants who may be eligible for the original DACA program, which is not affected by the Supreme Court decision. DACA provides certain undocumented immigrants with temporary protection from deportation, work authorization, a driver’s license and other benefits. If immigrant New Yorkers are not sure if they qualify for DACA, they should call 311 or go to nyc.gov/deferredaction for more information. Commissioner Nisha Agarwal encouraged all immigrants in New York City to seek the services that they are eligible for, no matter their status, including IDNYC, ActionNYC, and ActionHealthNYC programs as well as health care services, education and afterschool programs, and emergency food assistance and shelter.

Steven Ettannani, Senior Advisor, State and Federal Policy at the NYC Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) spoke on behalf of DCA Commissioner Lorelei Salas. He discussed DCA’s role in preventing immigration services provider (ISP) fraud. ISPs are people or businesses without legal training who charge fees for immigration services. They cannot advise people on how to resolve an immigration issue in any way and cannot help customers prepare for immigration interviews. The Department of Consumer Affairs recommends only using ISPs for help with obtaining supporting documents, arranging photos or medical tests, notarization (if licensed), and free referrals to legal providers.

All immigrants in NYC have access to health care services, education and after school programs, emergency food assistance and shelter, and IDNYC, among other services and resources. The City will continue to work to connect immigrants, regardless of status, to the resources they need for their families and communities to thrive.

The City will also continue to advocate for urgently needed federal immigration reform.

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