By Joseph Leo

With President Donald Trump’s most recent State of the Union address as a background – with its open hostility to Latin immigrants – Make the Road New York (MRNY) is helping New York showcase its immigrant residents, both documented and undocumented.

On Thursday, reporters, board members, and donors huddled in small white tents to break ground on a new community center in Jackson Heights. “We are enormously proud that, in the face of the continuing, egregious anti-immigrant actions of the current administration, we are standing firm and stronger than ever,” said Make the Road New York Co-Executive Director Javier Valdés. “This landmark community center will enable a dramatic expansion of our programs and services to better meet the needs of our communities. It will be a welcoming space signifying the value of every person who enters our doors, a beacon of hope, safety, and dignity for all immigrants and working-class people of color.”

Credit: Joseph Leo

MRNY’s Media Specialist Yatzir Tovar said, “We need it more than ever. We need a place where immigrants can come where New Yorkers can come and get these types of services.”

The new 24,000-square-foot community center will offer housing, English classes, and legal advice. Senator John Liu said in a statement: “Honored to stand shoulder to shoulder with Make the Road New York for the construction of their extraordinary new community center. Since its inception, Make the Road New York has led the charge in uniting immigrant communities across NYC and this organizational center is not only the culmination of their dynamic effort but a symbol of the power people fighting for justice hold.”

The Democratic Activist group, started in 1997, and now based in Queens, reaches out to


immigrants in all five boroughs of New York City.