Easier Access to City’s Immigration Resources
QUEENS, NY – Borough President Melinda Katz today announced that beginning this Friday, September 29, the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs (MOIA) will hold monthly office hours inside Queens Borough Hall to provide residents with easier access to the information and services offered by MOIA. Queens is the first borough to hold MOIA office hours, and begins less than a week before the upcoming October 5 deadline for enrollment renewals in the federal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
“Nearly half of our borough’s 2.3 million people were born abroad, and their many contributions to our community are a source of strength and a vital part of the Queens identity,” said Borough President KATZ. “More immigrants and more DACA-eligible immigrants call Queens home than any other borough, and in this increasingly uncertain climate, we want immigrant families to know that New York has their backs. We are a nation of immigrants, built on the backs of immigrants’ labor, and Queens is about all of our families’ futures. With the aim of making every resource available to them, Mayor de Blasio, Acting Commissioner Mostofi and I are extending MOIA to Queens Borough Hall, a partnership that has become all the more necessary in light of the impending termination of the DACA program.”
“In the world’s borough, where nearly half of all residents are immigrants, holding monthly office hours at Queens Borough Hall will allow MOIA to be even more accessible to Queens residents,” said BITTA MOSTOFI, Acting Commissioner of the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs. “Immigration status should not be a barrier to accessing resources, and through our immigration legal services programs, IDNYC, access to Know Your Rights forums, among other resources, Mayor de Blasio’s Administration is working every day to make New York City a more inclusive city for all.”
Beginning September 29, 2017 and for the last Friday of every month thereafter, representatives from MOIA’s Queens Neighborhood Outreach Team will be stationed in Queens Borough Hall in office space provided by Borough President Katz. Queens residents will be able to meet one-on-one with MOIA representatives between 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM on those days and confidentially discuss their immigration-related issues, including possible enforcement actions and the planned termination of DACA, a federal initiative that has protected 800,000 undocumented immigrants nationwide from deportation who were brought to the United States as children. According to the Migration Policy Institute, 28,000 DACA-eligible individuals reside in Queens, followed by 22,000 in Brooklyn, 13,000 in the Bronx and 7,000 in Manhattan.
The MOIA representatives at Borough Hall will provide information on how to access the immigration legal services available through ActionNYC, a City initiative that offers free and safe immigration legal help through a network of trusted community organizations and schools. The representatives will also offer information about many other services and benefits, including resources offered by the non-profit immigrant service organizations that participate in Borough President Katz’s Immigration Task Force.
No appointments are necessary to meet with the MOIA representatives, and walk-ins are welcome. Appointments can be made by emailing Depak Borhara of the Queens Neighborhood Outreach Team at [email protected] MOIA reprepesentatives will be available in Room 213 on the second floor of Borough Hall, located at 120-55 Queens Boulevard. Borough Hall is adjacent to the Kew Gardens/Union Turnpike station on the E and F subway lines and is in close proximity to several bus routes.
Borough President Katz decided to make space in Borough Hall available for MOIA office hours as a follow-up to the discussions that took place during the Immigration Roundtable held this July during Mayor Bill de Blasio’s “City Hall in Your Borough” week in Queens. Those discussions made clear the need to have a convenient location in Queens’ civic center where residents can go to find out about City services and programs.
MOIA is the agency of New York City government focused on promoting the well-being of immigrant communities. The Office’s goals are to enhance the economic, civic, and social integration of immigrant New Yorkers; facilitate access to justice for immigrant New Yorkers; and advocate for continued immigration reforms at all levels of government in order to eliminate inequities that impact New York’s immigrant communities.
Residents who cannot take advantage of MOIA’s Borough Hall office hours can also get assistance from MOIA by calling the Office’s main number at (212) 788-7654. Additional information is also available on the MOIA website at www.nyc.gov/immigrants.
Swiv Prezidan Borough Katz via @melindakatz www.facebook.com/queensbpkatz