New York City Ramps Up Immigrant Outreach

Immigrant services are being expanded; programs are showing dividends.

News Story (New York)

Josh Dawsey
Wall Street Journal (WSJ)
October 31, 2016

Tags: Immigration Process

Organizations mentioned/involved: Legal Aid Society (New York City)


The city is spending about $30 million a year on immigrant services, up from $14 million in 2014, according to a city budget analysis. In the past several months, officials have scheduled town halls to find illegal immigrants to help them get government services. They have given almost a million identification cards to New Yorkers, no matter their immigration status, so they can receive city benefits and perks, such as museum admissions.

Mr. de Blasio has all but encouraged New York business owners to hire illegal immigrants. On a radio program, he thanked a Brooklyn grocery store owner who called in to say that he had done so.

“The question for us is, how do we speak against this national rhetoric as a city?” said Nisha Agarwal, who heads the city’s Office of Immigrant Affairs. “In New York, we don’t hear a huge amount of disagreement on the things the city should be doing.”