Member Profiles

One Family, a Brighter Future

The Atalaya family joined MRNY to organize for change for their family and community. Isela came to MRNY to learn English. Eventually, she became a leader in our campaign for Immigration reform. Isela joined MRNY’s housing committee to learn about tenants’ rights so she could advocate for herself with her landlord. Alesi secured immigration relief with support from MRNY lawyers, and became a leader in our Youth Power Project. Vilma negotiated unmanageable medical bills with the help of MRNY advocates. Angel trained in workplace health and safety with MRNY, and marched with us in Washington, DC for immigration reform.

Isaiah Quiones (IQ)

Isaiah Quinones (IQ) helped organize a peaceful walkout at their school to protest a cell phone policy. The school’s NYPD officers were called, and IQ was cited for disorderly conduct (which was later dismissed). Since 2014, IQ has honed their skills in organizing and leadership with our Youth Power Project, helping to organize campaigns on policing, education and LGBTQ rights. This year, IQ’s school awarded them its first-ever community leader award, which MRNY presented to IQ at their high school graduation ceremony. IQ is now in college, and plans to become a geologist.

Angeles Mendez

Angeles started coming to Make the Road New York as part of our after school program in Staten Island. She later received an MRNY scholarship and became an active youth member. As a youth leader fighting for a clean Dream Act , she leads marches, speaks to the media, and meets with elected officials to advocate for undocumented youth like herself. She is currently pursuing a degree in political science at CUNY.

Daniel Cortes

Daniel Cortes came to the US 30 years ago and began working in a Manhattan bakery. He enrolled in MRNY’s adult education classes to communicate better in English and learn about his rights at work. Today, he is an active member in the struggle for workplace justice, and a dedicated advocate for his community.

Maria Rubio Torres de Chavarria

Maria Rubio Torres de Chavarria survived persecution in her home country, and later, cancer. Maria works as a housekeeper, and can’t afford the expensive exams and medication she needs to stay in remission. MRNY helped Maria enroll in Medicaid to help cover the costs. Without health insurance, Maria says, she may not be alive today. Now, Maria is a leader in defending the Affordable Care Act from numerous efforts to repeal it, helping to create videos and other press materials to highlight the importance of the ACA for our communities.

Martín Batalla Vidal

Martín Batalla Vidal is a DACA recipient who works at a nursing home helping those with health issues, allowing him to financially support his mother. After the work permit that he obtained under President Obama’s immigration relief initiative was wrongfully limited, MRNY helped Martín file a lawsuit that could bring immigration relief to hundreds of thousands of immigrants across the country.

Ruth Cruz

Ruth came to MRNY seeking help for her two young daughters, who were about to be deported after fleeing violence in Guatemala. Our legal team secured immigration relief for Ruth and her daughters; now, the family are all on their way to obtaining legal permanent residence.

Zuleima Dominguez

For Zuleima, a DREAMer and MRNY Youth Power Project member, the fight for a clean Dream Act is personal. She was born in Mexico and moved to the US when she was 10 years old, becoming DACAmented with help from MRNY. Zuleima helps lead MRNY’s resistance against attacks from the Trump administration to build a future of justice, dignity and respect for all. Zuleima is currently a enrolled in college, with a scholarship MRNY helped her secure.

Member Stats

Staten Island
Long Island
Bushwick, Brooklyn

Bushwick residents are among the poorest in the city -- the median household income is just $33,162 -- and over 35% of households are made up of foreign-born immigrants; many residents are undocumented. MRNY’s storefront community center in Bushwick welcomes residents for community support, survival services like healthcare and food assistance access, and organizing for dignity and justice.

Jackson Heights, Queens

Jackson Heights is an immigrant-dense neighborhood, and one of the most ethnically diverse areas in the United States; more than half of residents were born outside the US. Jackson Heights is also a hub for LGBTQ New Yorkers, especially trans Latinas. MRNY’s legal and survival services connect residents to much-needed resources, and our Trans Immigrant Project supports the specific needs of trans immigrant New Yorkers.

Port Richmond, Staten Island

The enclave of Port Richmond on Staten Island's North Shore is home to the city's fastest-growing immigrant population; more than 81,000 Hispanic residents now live in Port Richmond. MRNY members in Port Richmond typically speak little English, and only modest Spanish, second to their indigenous language. MRNY’s community center there offers adult education and English language classes, along with legal and other services that connect new immigrants to much-needed resources, including health care.

Brentwood, Long Island

Brentwood’s Hispanic population jumped 15% between 2010 and 2015, becoming 70% of the population. Immigrant Latinxs in Long Island are the target of anti-immigrant policy initiatives and public anger; some public officials have built their political careers on anti-immigrant platforms. Today, Latinxs have lower per capita incomes than black, Asian and white Long Islanders, with lower levels of English proficiency and educational attainment. MRNY’s center in Brentwood offers survival services along with grassroots organizing campaigns to build the political power of Latinx and immigrant Long Islanders.

White Plains, Westchester County

The US Census Bureau ranks Westchester as one of the most unequal counties in America and second most unequal in New York State, in terms of the gap between wealth and poverty. Westchester’s Latinx community has grown in recent years. Latinxs now make up 23% of the population. Politicians often use anti-immigrant attacks to bolster their campaigns, further marginalizing the immigrant community there. MRNY’s Westchester center provides critical legal support, including domestic violence resources, along with grassroots organizing and civic engagement efforts to build the political power of Latinx and immigrant voters in Westchester.