New York’s identity is that it’s a city of immigrants. Are candidates for city offices committed to turning that slogan a reality for today’s foreign-born New Yorkers?

Adi Talwar, Mayoral Photography Office, NYC Council, Juan Miguel Lago

New York is a city of immigrants. It always has been—as early as 1643, just a generation after white settlers began their presence on land inhabited by the Lenape people, some 18 languages were spoken among the 500 residents of New Amsterdam—and it is now: Some 3.1 million New Yorkers were born in another country. 

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But is the city’s immigrant identity merely a slogan or a static fact, or is it an operating imperative for local government, and in particular, the next mayor? After all, the city’s future is heavily dependent on whether or not it remains a top destination for newcomers, but immigration policy is set well beyond City Hall.

There are, however, many ways that city policy—on healthcare, schools, policing, housing, business and voting—affects immigrants’ lives.

In our latest video issues briefing, Max & Murphy tackle the topic of immigration policy. Take a look below:

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For more on immigration in the 2021 election: tune in Thursday, May 5 for a mayoral candidate forum hosted by the New York Immigration Coalition in partnership with City Limits. Register to watch here: