On January 31 from 2:00 – 3:00 pm, the Center for Migration Studies of New York (CMS) hosted a webinar and discussion of the CMS report, Immigrants’ Use of New York City Programs, Services, and Benefits: Examining the Impact of Fear and Other Barriers to Access by Daniela Alulema and Jacquelyn Pavilon.
The report is based on CMS research that examined immigrant fear and other barriers in three general areas: the use of public benefits, with a particular focus on the public charge rule; the use of public health services; and access to law enforcement and the courts. It documents how Trump-era immigration policies perpetuated fear among immigrant communities, in the context of other barriers to access services and benefits, and why its detrimental impacts have persisted and outlived that administration.
The research included semi-structured interviews with 75 immigrants across all five boroughs of New York City and two focus groups with immigrants in both English and Spanish. The CMS research team also interviewed 16 social service providers from community-based organizations and New York City agencies, including the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (NYC DOHMH) and the Human Resources Administration/Department of Social Services (HRA), and eight healthcare providers and social workers from the city’s public hospital system, NYC Health + Hospitals, who worked with immigrants across the city. The report finds that while government agencies, hospitals, and CBOs have all taken steps to minimize gaps in service provision and to mitigate immigrants’ fear, more can and should be done.
CMS Executive Director, Donald Kerwin moderated the discussion. The report’s co-authors, Daniela Alulema and Jacquelyn Pavilon, shared key findings and policy recommendations.
The webinar also included guest remarks from NYC government officials:
Commissioner Manuel Castro, NYC Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs (MOIA)
Dr. Jonathan Jimenez, Executive Director of NYC Care at Health + Hospitals
Shoshana Smolen, Esq., Director of Immigrant Eligibility and Access, Office of Refugee and Immigrant Affairs of the NYC Department of Social Services