This year’s Immigrant Heritage Week will be held from April 15 to April 21, 2019.
“Welcome to Immigrant Heritage Week 2019! As in years past, this year we honor and celebrate our immigrant sisters and brothers, as well as the immigrant roots that millions of New Yorkers share. New Yorkers hail from every corner of the globe and speak over 200 languages.
Our diversity is what makes us the greatest city in the world.
Established in 2004, Immigrant Heritage Week is organized every year by the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs (MOIA). The week pays homage to our legacy as a city of immigrants. April 17, 1907 is the day in our city’s history that the largest number of immigrants – 11,000 – entered the United States through Ellis Island. During this week-long celebration, we strive to highlight the histories, unique cultures, and myriad contributions of New York City’s immigrant communities, past and present.
Every year, we use the week’s theme to speak to this history while capturing the spirit of the present. This year, for the very first time, we called on New Yorkers to help us tell that story, encouraging submissions that asked what it meant to identify both as an immigrant and as a New Yorker. I am thrilled to announce the winning submission: “Immigrant New York: Weaving a Tapestry of Us.” Luisa Maxine Sanchez—our contest winner—is the daughter of proud Garifuna parents who immigrated to the United States and settled in Harlem 50 years ago. Working closely with fellow New Yorker Eugenia
Mello, an extraordinary illustrator and graphic designer originally from Argentina, she helped bring to life Luisa’s eloquent theme.
We invite you to join us and our amazing partners at one of over 75 events featured during the week, celebrating immigrant communities, cultures, and contributions, as we continue weaving a brighter future together.”
Bitta Mostofi, Commissioner
Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs
Luisa Maxine Sanchez, Immigrant Heritage Week Theme Contest Winner
Eugenia Mello, Immigrant Heritage Week Theme Illustrator
Eugenia Mello is an illustrator and graphic designer from Buenos Aires, Argentina currently living and drawing in NYC. She studied Graphic Design at the University of Buenos Aires, where she also taught Design and Typography courses for several years. She holds an MFA in Illustration as Visual Essay from the School of Visual Arts.
She is passionate about rhythm, movement and feelings, and uses color and shape to translate into drawing the things that are difficult to put into words. This year, Eugenia was selected to visualize the theme for Immigrant Heritage Week 2019 and bring to life the tapestry that is New York City.
To access the calendar of events, please download it from the top right-hand section of this article or by clicking here.
About Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs
New York City has a long and proud history as the ultimate city of immigrants. In recognition of this heritage and the important role that immigrants continue to play in New York City’s economic, civic, and cultural life, the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs was first established in 1984. The Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs (MOIA) promotes the well-being of immigrant communities. In the de Blasio administration, we have prioritized three broad goals: enhance the economic, civic, and social integration of immigrant New Yorkers; facilitate access to justice for immigrant New Yorkers; and advocate for continued immigration reforms at all levels of government in order to eliminate inequities that impact New York’s immigrant communities.
Everyone, including undocumented immigrants, can access most City services, such as going to school or using the health care system. City employees will not ask about immigration status unless it is necessary to do their jobs. They must keep immigration status information confidential.
IDNYC is a free identification card for all New Yorkers ages 10 years old and up and comes with dozens of great benefits. IDNYC does not collect immigration status information, and applicants’ information is confidential. The City will protect IDNYC information to the fullest extent of the law.
ActionNYC offers free, safe, and confidential immigration legal help through a network of trusted community organizations, schools, and NYC/Health + Hospital facilities. Call ActionNYC at 1-800-354-0365 between 09:00 a.m. – 06:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.
Beware of immigration service providers who take advantage of their customers. Get help only from a trusted, licensed attorney or accredited representative. For questions about this, call the New Americans Hotline at 1-800-566-7636 between 09:00 a.m. – 08:00 p.m. on Monday through Friday.
NYCitizenship is a citizenship application assistance program, available at select public library branches.
About NYC Immigrant Information Desk
The NYC Immigrant Information Desk serves as an “in-person 311” for immigrant families, providing information and direct and indirect referrals for a number of City and community-based services, located at three locations across the City, which you can locate here.
About We Speak NYC
We Speak NYC (formerly We Are New York) is the City’s English Language Learning program, which provides civicfocused instruction through videos, web, and print materials, and free community classes in all five boroughs.
Whether by phone, online, or in person, The Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs is here to help you. Call 311 or call us directly at 212-788-7654, from 09:00 a.m. – 05:00 p.m., Monday to Friday. E-mail us at askMOIA@cityhall.nyc.gov, or visit our website here.