In 2014, Mayor Bill de Blasio appointed Nisha Agarwal as the Commissioner of the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs. Agarwal has since pushed forward and implemented IDNYC, New York City’s municipal ID card, a program that ensures that all New York City residents have access to City services. More than 900,000 New York City residents have signed up in the two years the program has operated. Agarwal also supervises ActionNYC. ActionNYC connects New Yorkers with free, safe immigration legal services, and supports community-based organizations to increase services at the grassroots level.
Nisha Agarwal was raised in Fayetteville in upstate New York. The daughter of first generation Indian immigrants, she witnessed the immigrant experience in America first-hand. Her father, a nuclear engineer, and her mother, a psychologist, were consistently supportive Agarwal’s activism. Though new to America, her family was no stranger to activism. Her lineage includes many members with a commitment to social justice, including her grandfather who marched with Mahatma Gandhi during the Indian independence movement.