Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs, New York City, New York

This initiative has been identified as a good immigrant integration practice by the NLC. Click here to find all about the other programs!

New York is the most populous US city with a total population of 8,302,659. It is also the most ethnically diverse US city with a population of 2,981,544 (36%) foreign-born individuals. Almost half of New York City’s population speaks a language other than English at home, and over 120 different languages are spoken within the city.

The Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs (MOIA) works with immigrants, community-based organizations and city government agencies to promote the well-being of immigrant communities. The office recommends policies and programs that facilitate successful integration of recent immigrants and uses outreach to get important information about these programs to immigrant communities. It has been successful in identifying city services that are accessible to immigrants, arranging meetings and conversations between city officials and community leaders and identifying the best outreach strategies to immigrant communities.

One of MOIA’s major initiatives involved making it easier for limited English proficient individuals to understand medication labels. Thanks to the office’s efforts, chain pharmacies are now required to provide free, competent oral interpretation and written translation of vital documents.

In addition, Mayor Bloomberg has signed executive orders and local laws that support immigrant rights.

  • Executive Order 41: Allows all New Yorkers, regardless of immigration status, to access vital city services
  • Local Law 73: Strengthens language access services for limited English proficient individuals seeking vital health and human services
  • Local Law 31: Introduced new fraud protections for immigrants

For more information about the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs, please contact Commissioner Fatima Shama at (212) 788-7654 or

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