Sunday, August 1

Dominican-born lawyer will lead the NYC Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs


MOIA’s new Commissioner is on a mission to advocate for the more than 1 million New York immigrants who call this city home.

Photo: Mariela Lombard / El Diario

His parents emigrated from the Dominican Republic to New York City in the sixties in search of a better life, and now she, Rachel Baptist, will be in charge of ensuring the rights of the immigrant community of the Big Apple, following her appointment as the new Commissioner of the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs.

The announcement was made on Tuesday by Mayor Bill de Blasio, highlighting that the lawyer of Dominican origin, who will replace Bitta Mostofi, has more than two decades of experience as an activist fighting for improvements for immigrants in New York City.

“New York is, and always will be, a city of immigrants,” he said. Mayor, adding that Raquel “has the lived experience and passion necessary to make this city a fairer and more equitable place that immigrant New Yorkers can call home. Our recovery depends on it. “

And without a doubt, one of the greatest challenges that the new MOIA Commissioner will have will be precisely to ensure that immigrants continue to be the main community to which recovery plans are directed after the COVID-19 pandemics.

“I am honored and humbled to have been appointed Commissioner of the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs. My grandmother and my parents came to New York City in the 1960s from the Dominican Republic in search of a better life for their family. My appointment is a testimony to them and to all immigrant communities that their hard work, their struggle, bears fruit, “Batista said in a statement.

The new one MOIA’s top chief said that this office is an innovative and cutting-edge government institution “that provides a plan for the rest of the country on how to ensure that immigrants have access to government services, are provided with resources, support and signs that they are welcome.”

In a statement, the City indicated that the new commissioner is a Afro-Dominican and second generation Latina, a lifelong New Yorker and attorney with more than two decades of experience defending the rights of New York immigrants. Most recently, he served as a Community Legal Fellow at CUNY Law School – CLRN.

Additionally, Batista previously served as an adjunct professor at Manhattan College teaching immigration law, policy and policy and in the Department of Latin American and Puerto Rican Studies at John Jay College of Criminal Justice.

Satisfaction among NYC Dominican leaders

“As the former executive director of the Northern Manhattan Coalition for Immigrant Rights and with her ongoing commitment to addressing social justice issues for New York City residents, Raquel Batista understands that for many immigrant families, becoming a citizen of this country is the realization of hard work, dedication, hope and dreams for a better life for them and their families ”, said the congressman of Dominican origin. Adriano Espaillat.

Meanwhile the councilor Ydanis Rodriguez, also Dominican, highlighted that she has “decades of experience as a lawyer working on behalf of those who need it most in New York City, especially underserved immigrant communities in the South Bronx and upper Manhattan. I have full confidence in your commitment to serving and defending the more than 1 million New York immigrants who call this city home. “


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