Today, Mayor-elect Eric Adams announced the appointment of Manuel “Manny” Castro to the position of commissioner of the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs (MOIA). Castro’s appointment marks the first time the post of MOIA Commissioner will be held by a formerly undocumented person. Currently, Castro serves as the Executive Director of New Immigrant Community Empowerment (NICE), a Queens-based nonprofit and member organization of the New York Immigration Coalition, with over 15,000 registered members fighting for the labor rights of immigrant New Yorkers.
Before leading NICE, Castro led NYIC’s state and Federal campaign work. A fierce advocate and exceptional organizer, he has spent 15 years fighting for immigrant rights. Castro holds a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Urban Anthropology from Hampshire College and a Master of Public Administration (MPA) from the School of Public Affairs at Baruch College, City University of New York (CUNY).
“Immigrant New Yorkers across the city are rejoicing in recognition of the appointment of Manuel Castro, executive director of NICE and NYIC board member, as MOIA commissioner,” said Murad Awawdeh, Executive Director, New York Immigration Coalition. “As someone who emigrated to NYC at the age of five years, living without legal status for most of his youth, Manny has always intimately understood the experiences of immigrant New Yorkers and advocated to improve their circumstances and meet their needs throughout his career. We couldn’t be more pleased by Mayor-elect Adams‘ landmark appointment of Manuel Castro and look forward to working with him to ensure the health and well-being of immigrant New Yorkers now and into the future.”
“Thank you, Mayor-elect Eric Adams, for your historic appointment of Manuel Castro to lead the Mayor’s Office on Immigrant Affairs (MOIA). Manuel Castro is a well-respected immigrant rights leader who has been on the frontlines since day one in providing critical services to the most impacted during the Covid-19 crisis. Manual Castro will be the voice of the voiceless immigrant in NYC, and I am convinced he will be a bridge for all immigrants in our beloved NYC. NYIC thanks Commissioners Bitta Mostofi and Raquel Batista for their work on behalf of our communities.” said Guillermo Chacon, Board Chair of the New York Immigration Coalition.