The New York Immigration Coalition was established in 1987 to address the impact on New York of a 1986 law allowing undocumented immigrants to adjust their status. More than 30 years later, the nation is still debating immigration. While the fight for immigration reform takes on new momentum at the present time, the NYIC has, over the years, built a strong statewide infrastructure and expanded its focus to address, in addition to immigration issues, the cross-cutting issues affecting immigrants and non-immigrants alike, such as access to health care and quality public education. Our work on these issues specifically addresses the needs of New York's low-income immigrant communities--including those most newly arrived and with limited English proficiency.

Highlights Include


Holding Elected Officials Accountable. The NYIC organized its first federal advocacy day, began to develop its Albany policy agenda, and started to work closely with city officials to ensure that the City Government was representing all New York communities. Among other initiatives, the NYIC held elected officials accountable by launching the City Access Project, which convened immigrant community leaders and city officials to jointly address barriers that prevent city agencies from being easily accessible and responsive to immigrant communities.

Key Milestones:
  • City Access Project
  • NYS Anti-Discrimination Outreach Project
  • 1990 IMMACT Outreach/Diversity Visa Outreach/UPL Concerns
  • NYS Citizenship Campaign: “Have a Voice. Make a Difference. Become a U.S. Citizen”
  • Immigration-Related Employment Discrimination Projects
  • HIV Prevention
  • Transforming Education for New York’s Newest


Protecting the Safety Net for Immigrants. In the face of federal welfare reform, the NYIC played a leadership role in highlighting the devastating impact of unfair immigrant exclusions, successfully pressed the state to set up a safety net for legal immigrants who lost federal eligibility, and ultimately helped roll back the most extreme federal provisions to help low-income seniors and children.

Building Immigrant Political Power. The 1996 immigration and welfare reform laws put a spotlight on the need for immigrants to build political strength to shape the policies that affect their lives. The NYIC launched a new-citizen voter registration project, which has evolved into the largest, most successful multi-ethnic non-partisan voter-registration initiative in the nation. By 2007, we had registered more than 250,000 new citizens to vote, in 2000, we launched our first major get-out-the-vote campaign, and in 2006, we expanded our GOTV efforts to work with partners in upstate and Long Island.

Key Milestones:
  • Immigrant Concerns Training Institute launched (2001)
  • 200,000 in 2000 campaign
  • 9/11 Related Programs
  • Training Institute expanded with new funding
  • Education Reform
  • Health Care Access
  • Voter Education and Mobilization
  • New American Leaders Fellowship program launched
  • Workers’ Rights program launched
  • Housing program launched


Key Milestones:
  • Creation of the Building Bridges Program
  • Work around IOI Funding
  • Wins and Losses around Driver's Licenses
  • First of 10 Builders of the New New York Awards; notable honorees have been Lin-Manuel Miranda, Wyclef Jean, and Kathryn Wylde
  • First creation of our Annual Report
  • Major mobilizations in Washington, D.C.


Key Milestones
  • DACA was announced in June and accepting application in August of 2012
  • Chung-Wha Hong resigned as ED – Steve Choi became ED in 2013
  • Reports are produced over lessons learned from IRCA in 2013
  • Launch of the Consular ID Campaign (Key to the City Events)
  • Launch of the Parent Guide to College
  • Launch of Legal Initiatives
  • Launch of Social Media Platforms
  • Administrative change at the NYIC

Present Day

Key Milestones
  • Community education regarding Administrative Relief
  • Launched Black Immigrant Engagement Initiative (BIEI)
  • Hosted the National Immigrant Integration Conference (NIIC)
  • Moved to current office on W. 33rd St.
  • Institutionalized focus on capacity building and statewide regional presence
  • Launch of 2016-2020 Strategic Plan
  • Implemented staff reorganization
  • This is Our NY Campaign launched in response to the changing federal landscape
  • Launched the NYIC Blueprint for Immigrant New York