Immigrants Rise 2023: NYC to DC

Immigrant justice advocates gather in Washington Square Park, holding a banner reading: Respect & Dignity For All / Respeto y dignidad para todos
Office of the New York City Public Advocate

During Immigrant Heritage Week, we raised our voices and elevated the immigrant experience to urge action. On April 18 - April 19, 2023, New York City Public Advocate Jumaane D. Williams was joined by members of New York’s Congressional delegation, the #WelcomeWithDignity campaign, and immigration activists in Washington, DC to call for federal action to support asylum seekers and reform immigration policy infrastructure for the long-term. Join this broad coalition to call for change! See our demands below, with translations available on the Office of the Public Advocate's blog.

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.