An umbrella organization of immigrant support organisations released a report on May 24 urging New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio to hike funding for immigrants in sectors such as adult literacy, cheap housing and legal services.
Named ‘A Budget for the City of Immigrants’, the report was brought out by various groups, such as the Asian American Federation, the New York Immigration Coalition, Make the Road New York, the Coalition for Asian American Children, and Families and Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies.
According to the information in the report, immigrants accounted for 37 percent of the NYC’s population, 45 percent of the city’s workers and 49 percent of owners of small businesses.
Although de Blasio increased funding for issues having a bearing on immigrants after he assumed office, the report says that there were significant needs that were not addressed, and which needed to be dealt with in order to make the city more attractive to new arrivals facing hurdles with regard to improvement of workforce and education.
The New York Immigration Coalition executive director, Steve Choi, was of the view that the NYC’s budget should give priority to the immigrant population. Choi called on the Mayor to extend a hand to make sure that new immigrants are included in the civic process. He exhorted the city’s leaders to appreciate the fact that immigrants accounted for a large percentage of the population of this metropolis and thus the leaders include the recommendations put forth by them in their report.
Major recommendations from the report include a plea for earmarking $16 million in funding towards adult literacy for immigrants.
The support groups also asked the city administration to allocate $2 million in order to continue supporting different types of social services for minors, who are not accompanied by their elders and are facing a threat of deportation.
In addition, it also wants $7.1 million in funds for flagging off the New York Immigrant Family Unity Project, which provides legal recourse to low-wage immigrant New York workers facing deportation.