Assemblywoman Cruz Launches Statewide Virtual Listening Tour to Improve Services for Immigrants in New York

Lawmaker will focus on policy issues impacting the more than 4.2 million immigrants living in communities across New York State

Albany, New York – Chair of the Assembly Task Force on New Americans, Assemblywoman Catalina Cruz, today announced a series of virtual forums that will serve as part of her statewide virtual listening tour. The series aims to better understand and improve the effectiveness of the programs and resources available to welcome and support the more than 4.2 million immigrants who call New York State home.

The series, which will air over the course of four weeks, touches on issues that impact communities with significant immigrant populations across New York State. The series will serve as a platform for immigrant-serving, community-based organizations to voice their concerns, and allow them to make recommendations on how the state government can help improve the conditions of their constituents. Elected officials from across the state will also participate, including Assemblymembers Pat Fahy, Ken Zebrowski, Phil Ramos, and Harry B. Bronson.

The impact of immigrants in New York is substantial, from the more than $61 billion in taxes pumped back into the state by immigrant families every year, to the enrichment of our daily lives by immigrant business owners, teachers, first responders and so many more. The Assembly, led by Speaker Carl Heastie, has recognized this importance by supporting immigrant communities.

The series will also take an in-depth look at this support, as well as any gaps in services and need for additional funding.

“As we bear witness to an increase in xenophobia and hate crimes across the country, our government must do more to ensure new Americans feel welcome in our communities. I strongly believe that to fully build an inclusive society, there must be a dismantling of barriers to the social and economic integration of our growing immigrant communities. The recommendations made by the participating panelists will serve as a foundation to guide future social and fiscal public policies,” said Assemblywoman Catalina Cruz, Chair of the Assembly Task Force on New Americans.

“Immigrants are and always have been an integral part of our communities, our economy and of our state,” Speaker Carl Heastie said. “The last year has been difficult for everyone, and has compounded problems that previously existed in our communities, and especially in our immigrant communities. This listening tour will help the Assembly Majority better understand the challenges immigrants across New York are facing and how we can get them the tools and resources they need to thrive. I look forward to hearing the outcomes of these forums, and continuing to work with Assemblymember Cruz and the Taskforce on New Americans to put

New York families – regardless of where they were born – first. ”

The scheduled regional forums hosted by the Assembly Task Force on New Americans will begin at 3:00 PM on the following dates:

  • Thursday, April 15, 2021
    Improving Access to Legal Services & Justice for Immigrants
    Capital District and Mohawk Valley Regions
  • Thursday, April 22, 2021
    Improving Health Care Access and Educational Opportunities
    Hudson Valley Region
  • Thursday, April 29, 2021
    Workforce Training and Entrepreneurship
    Long Island & NYC Region
  • Thursday, May 6, 2021
    Improving Adult English Language Program Availability
    Western New York Region

Reporters who wish to register for the forum can RSVP at:

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar. Questions for forum participants should be emailed during the forum to