Albany, NY—Tonight, the New York Immigration Coalition (NYIC), members, allies, and immigrant New Yorkers cheered the largest investment in New York’s 4.4 million immigrants in decades of state budget advocacy. The FY 2022 NYS budget deal includes $2.1 billion for a first-of-its-kind fund for excluded workers, $29.5 billion for New York’s schools, a $7.8 million reinvestment in adult literacy education, $13.5 million to support AAPI communities, a $16.4 million reinvestment in the Liberty Defense Project and the Office for New Americans, $15 million to support communities hardest hit by COVID to promote awareness and education on the vaccine, and $1 billion for small businesses. Crucially, the $212 billion state budget includes $4.3 billion in revenue raisers thanks to new corporate taxes. Within weeks of New York’s COVID-19 outbreak, the NYIC launched a year-long statewide multi-pronged campaign demanding state leaders deliver relief and assistance to our immigrant essential workers and their families shut out of nearly every single one of the Federal government’s responses to the COVID-19 pandemic.
After the announcement of a deal around the FY 2022 budget, Murad Awawdeh, interim Co-Executive Director of the New York Immigration Coalition, issued the following statement:
“Thanks to Governor Cuomo and the leadership of NY State Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins and Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, immigrant New Yorkers who have been on the frontlines of this pandemic can sleep a little better knowing that help is on the way. From Brooklyn to Buffalo, hundreds of thousands of immigrant New York families will now have access to unemployment assistance through the first-of-its-kind program in the nation. Because of the Excluded Worker Fund, immigrant New York families will be able to to pay their rent, feed their families and buy diapers, formula and other essentials to help their families get through this challenging time. Additionally, the 2022 budget ensures that countless low-income New Yorkers will have access to a lawyer when they face the country’s immigration courts.
However, the Budget falls short of being truly transformative by creating unnecessary and burdensome obstacles for New Yorkers to apply for assistance, which will limit its impact in our communities. Moreover, the budget fails to address the need for immigrant health care coverage. As a result, undocumented immigrant New Yorkers dealing with the long-term impact of having contracted COVID-19 will not be able to get the urgent health care they need now. The New York Immigration Coalition will build on today’s victories to ensure that our recovery leaves no one behind.”
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 lockdowns, the NYIC has fought for deep and meaningful investments for New York’s 4.4 million immigrants. In the New York State Assembly and Senate one-house budgets the NYIC demanded funding for the following priorities:
$2.1 billion for a Fund for Excluded Workers (FEW)
$4 billion in funding for New York schools
$16.4 million for legal immigration services and the Office for New Americans
$7.8 million for Adult Literacy Education
$15 million to strengthen communication, expand public education and enhance ongoing outreach efforts for communities that have been disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
$10 million to support social service crisis intervention programs and providers disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 Pandemic
$1 billion Small Business and Arts Relief and Recovery Assistance