The Advocate

Public Advocate Williams speaks in front of the Washington Square Arch, as immigrant advocates gather.

Dc Day Of Action: Our Demands

April 18th, 2023

Immigrants Rise 2023: NYC to DC

For almost a year, New York City has been a focal point of the ongoing challenge of aiding asylum seekers – but this issue did not originate when the first bus arrived at Port Authority. It is rooted in decades of inaction toward reforming our immigration infrastructure and agencies’ inability to adapt to the needs of people arriving in our country. During Immigrant Heritage Week, we are raising our voices and elevating the immigrant experience to urge action. New York City, a city of immigrants, needs aid in meeting the current challenge, and at the same time, we must implement real, achievable, sustainable changes to our federal systems of immigration to help ensure that people coming to our country for its opportunities do not find themselves arriving in a new crisis of our own inertia.

Read our demands below! Join our office and the #WelcomeWithDignity campaign to take action by writing a letter to your Members of Congress!

Read our demands in Haitian Creole here; read our demands in Chinese here; read our demands in Spanish here.

Legislative Actions:

Support Our Newest Neighbors

  • Issue new Temporary Protected Status (TPS) designations, redesignations, and extensions to immigrants from countries experiencing security, political, and/or economic conflict, natural disasters, and health crises.
  • Reduce the current 180-day waiting period for work authorization to reduce case backlogs for asylum seekers. Pass the Asylum Seeker Work Authorization Act (Rep. Pingree-ME).

Uplift Dignity, Not Detention

  • Cease all contracts with private immigration detention centers, repeal mandatory detention, stop family detention, and prohibit solitary confinement.
  • Pass The New Way Forward Act (Rep. Garcia-IL) to promote the dignity of all immigrant communities and amend existing statutes that disproportionately harm immigrants of color.

Ensure Healthcare is a Human Right

  • Expand healthcare eligibility and access to Medicaid, CHIP, and the Affordable Care Act’s Health Insurance Exchanges for DACA recipients and other undocumented immigrants. Ensure that such expansion would not impact immigrants’ ability to adjust status and become citizens due to public charge.

Pass Comprehensive Immigration Reform in 2023

  • Provide Dreamers (including DACA recipients), TPS, and DED recipients with a pathway to permanent residency and citizenship through adjustment of status from temporary protections.
  • Update the immigrant registry to expand pathways to permanent residency via the Renewing Immigration Provisions of the Immigration Act of 1929 (Rep. Lofgren-CA).
  • Clear the family and employment-based backlogs, recapture unused visas, eliminate lengthy wait times including the 3 and 10-year bars for reentry, and increase per-country visa caps.

Programmatic Funding and Actions:

Strengthen America’s Linguistic Diversity through Language Access

  • Increase funding for language accessibility to improve the quality of oral and written language assistance services across federal, state, and local agencies and meet the language needs of limited-English proficient individuals.

Bolster Immigrant Integration, Education, and Stability

  • Provide funding to state and local governments, institutions, and organizations with programs that promote immigrant integration and inclusion, bolster English-language instructional programs, and provide resources to individuals seeking to become permanent residents and citizens. Pass the New Deal for New Americans (Sen. Markey-MA; Rep. Meng-NY).
  • Uphold the Fair Housing Act and ensure access to housing is available to all regardless of immigration status; fund state and local actions to reduce eligibility barriers to all tenants for housing assistance and mitigate sources of income discrimination.

Reform the Immigration Courts

  • Provide expanded funding for legal service providers and public defense programs, expand family case management programs, reduce immigration court backlogs, expand training and hiring for immigration judges, and improve technology for immigration courts.

Expand Economic Contribution and Opportunity: ITINs for All

  • Process Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) applications more quickly by allowing the electronic processing of ITIN applications and hire more IRS Acceptance Agents to help individuals apply for ITINs, enabling those without Social Security numbers the opportunity to file taxes.

We recognize that these asks do not comprehensively cover the depth of issues that exist within the current immigration system. Rather, they serve as starting points to advocate for and effectuate change.

Our Office

David N. Dinkins Municipal Building
1 Centre Street 15th Floor North
New York, NY 10007


Hotline: (212) 669-7250

Fax: (888) 409-0287*

Text: (833) 933-1692

*Our fax number has changed temporarily while we upgrade our infrastructure
© 2024 Copyright: Office of the New York City Public Advocate
Privacy Policy