New York Immigration Coalition (NYIC) is a left-of-center coalition that advocates for expansionist immigration policies. The NYIC has been increasingly active since the 2016 presidential election in response to immigration restrictionist policies proposed by President Donald Trump, opposing his administration on a number of immigration-related policies. NYIC is involved in a lawsuit against the administration to bar the U.S. Census Bureau from asking individuals about their citizenship status in the 2020 census.
The NYIC was formed in 1987 as a coalition of New York state-based groups after the federal government passed the 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act (known as the Simpson-Mazzoli Act), which provided opportunities for illegal immigrants to obtain legal status. The coalition was formed with an interest in “unit[ing] immigrants, members and allies,” and has regularly lobbied for increased immigration into the United States as well the expansion of government-run entitlement programs for immigrants and refugees.
According to the NYIC member list, the coalition consists of just under 200 organizations, including left-wing nonprofits, labor unions, and religious organizations. The list includes Human Rights First, New York State Nurses Association, the New York chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the New York Civil Liberties Union Foundation, and the Catholic Charities affiliate for the Archdiocese of New York, among others.
The NYIC initiated a drive to convince the New York state legislature to provide driver licenses for illegal immigrants and spent more than $1 million in campaign advertisements in January 2019.  While the policy was originally proposed as early as 2007 by then-governor Eliot Spitzer (D), the NYIC has pushed for the policy again in opposition to the immigration policies of President Trump. The name “Greenlight” campaign comes from the Green Light NY coalition, which has led much of the activism in the New York state Assembly and has been the adopted name by other organizations with the same goal. The NYIC also hired Metropolitan Public Strategies, a political consulting firm that caters to left-leaning clients, to advise the campaign.
2020 Census Citizenship Question
In March 2018, the Trump administration instructed the U.S. Census Bureau to include a question about the citizenship of respondents in the 2020 census. In response, the NYIC joined other plaintiffs in suing the administration with legal help from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York ruled in favor of the NYIC and ACLU in January 2019.
Steven Choi, the executive director of NYIC, called the administration’s effort to ask about citizenship “part of a white supremacist agenda led by Kris Kobach and Steve Bannon,” referring to two Republican Party operatives with ties to the Trump administration. As of January 2019 , the NYIC has petitioned New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) to support what it deems a “complete count” in the 2020 census. Part of the coalition’s demands includes at least $40 million be spent by New York State during the 2020 census with the goal of keeping all of the state’s 27 congressional districts in the U.S. House of Representatives, despite the likelihood that New York will lose up to two seats in the mandated reapportionment following the census.
Women’s March Ties
The NYIC has several ties to the controversial Women’s March, as Linda Sarsour holds a senior position with both organizations. The Women’s March was originally known for organizing the “Women’s March on Washington” in January 2017 as well as marching in Manhattan in 2018. Women’s March board members Linda Sarsour, Carmen Perez, and co-president Tamika Mallory have publicly affiliated with and praised anti-Semitic Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan. Mallory’s attendance at and promotion of a Farrakhan speech that featured numerous slurs toward Jews brought criticism of Women’s March, Inc. from Jewish organizations across the political spectrum and from the March’s left-of-center allies.
Steven Choi has served as the executive director of the NYIC since 2013. He was previously the executive director of the MinKwon Center for Community Action as well as the director if the Korean Workers Project at the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund.
Sara Rakita serves as the executive vice president of the NYIC; she has also been responsible for developing the NYIC’s 2016-2020 strategic plan. Prior to working for the NYIC, Rakita worked as a consultant for the Ford Foundation and Amnesty International.
Linda Sarsour is a controversial Palestinian-American activist who promotes intersectional left-wing activism to address a wide-array of left-wing issues. In 2017, Sarsour gained national prominence as a co-chair of the national Women’s March protest the inauguration of President Donald Trump.  While Sarsour is not listed on the NYIC’s website as either a board member nor an employee, she is listed on the coalition’s 2015 990 form as a “trustee.”
Though Sarsour is not mentioned by name in the NYIC annual report, she was photographed at the NYIC 30th anniversary gala in 2017. The NYIC will also attend the January 19th, 2019 National Women’s March New York city rally, despite it being revealed that leaders of the Women’s March, including Sarsour, had connections to the anti-Semitic Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan.
Guillermo Chacon is a co-chairman of the NYIC and serves as the president of the Latino Commission on AIDS.
Patrick Young is a co-chairman of the NYIC and serves as the program director of the Central American Refugee Center.
The NYIC has made over $4.2 million in revenue according to the coalition’s own 2017 annual report. The report also states that 55.4 percent of the revenue comes from foundations, 34.6 percent comes from the state and federal government, and 5.5 percent comes from “individuals.” The annual report lists as donors the Arca Foundation, the Robert Sterling Clark Foundation, and Unbound Philanthropy, among others. The list also mentions the Open Society Foundations, which is funded by the left-wing megadonor George Soros. Also, the Tides Foundation—a provider of donor-advised funds for left-wing mega-contributors—is listed as an “individual” donor to the NYIC.