The Colombian Consul to the United States, Andres Mejia, recently met with New York Mayor Eric Adams. The meeting aimed to address the integration of the Latino community. Serving as the acting president of the Coalition of Latin American Consuls in New York (CLACNY), Mejia facilitated this engagement with the mayor of the Big Apple.
The meeting between the city’s highest authority and the consul followed a series of discussions with top officials of the administration, including the Chief of Staff and Deputy Commissioner of the Mayor’s Office of International Affairs, Aissata Camara. These discussions aimed to introduce her work plan to the leader of the consular integration mechanism and to establish a shared agenda in response to the city’s increasing migrant influx.
Among the points to be discussed at this meeting, the migration crisis in the United States, and the city of New York, will undoubtedly play a central role.
Concerns of the Latino community in NYC
The Colombian consul will present the daily challenges faced by Latin American migrant communities in the city during the meeting. Additionally, they will outline CLACNY’s primary initiatives for the year to the local mayor. The agenda includes topics such as entrepreneurship, opportunities, non-discrimination, and migrant protection.
“We want to deepen our relationship with Mayor Adams and his cabinet on issues that are urgent for our communities. For that reason we will take advantage of this meeting to explore initiatives focused on timely issues such as mental health, employment readiness, immigration issues and dignified treatment for migrants,” said Andres Mejia, elected president of CLACNY for the 2024 term.
CLACNY represents 16 countries with consular accreditation in New York City. This organization works in the defense of human rights and the improvement of the living conditions of the Central and South American migrant communities living in the world’s largest city.
Latinos in the United States
The Latino community is growing steadily in the United States. As of July 2022, there were 63.7 million Latinos in the United States, the largest ethnic minority in the country, representing 19.1% of the total population, and according to the annual report of the Latino Policy Institute of the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), it is projected that by 2060 there will be almost 130 million Latinos, equivalent to more than 30% of the total national population.
Among them, by far the largest Latino community today is Mexican, with more than 37 million Mexican citizens in the United States. They are followed by Puerto Ricans, Salvadorans and Cubans. Colombians are in seventh place, with just over 1.4 million residents. The U.S. city with the largest number of Latinos is New York, with two and a half million residents.
New York, the most welcoming region
New York and the surrounding regions host an exceptionally diverse and well-organized Latino community, which stands as one of the most complex and rapidly expanding groups in the country. Often, the sole commonality among these communities is the Spanish language, given the significant differences that exist between them.
New York City, with close to nine million inhabitants, has 28.81% of Latino residents and is the city with the largest Latino population at the national level, where Latinos account for more than two and a half million, representing a quarter of its total population. The neighbourhood with the largest Latino population is the Bronx, with 1.47 million.
Latinos are found in every city in New York State and in every borough of New York City, but because of their history and population concentration, Salsa County in the Bronx, Washington Heights and East Harlem in Upper Manhattan, Corona and Jackson Heights in Queens, Sunset Park and Bushwick in Brooklyn, Port Richmond in Staten Island, Union City in New Jersey, and Hartford in Connecticut, stand out in the New York region.
By percentage, the largest Latino clusters are concentrated in: Corona, Queens (64.1%) East Harlem (52.0%) and Washington Heights (49.0%) in Manhattan, Jackson Heights, Queens (48.0%) and Sunset Park in Brooklyn (47.0%).