For Work Permits
Mexican immigrants in New York celebrated the date that
the Virgin of Guadalupe
appeared in 1531 to the Indian Juan Diego above the
of Mexican immigrants gathered last month at St.Patrick's
Cathedral to pray to the image of the patron saint Virgin
of Guadalupe. "I will ask the virgin to protect us and
help us to get an amnesty or at least a work permit, "
said Rocio Fernandez from the Bronx (Hoy).
Whether or not their prayers will be answered, some Mexican
immigrants will have it tough this new year. New York state
and city officials have refused to accept identification cards
issued by the Mexican consulate as valid forms of ID. Many
had hoped that the card would help undocumented Mexican immigrants
who often lack proper identification. "I'm surprised that
a state and city that are otherwise immigrant-friendly, or
at least supposed to be, would not accept it," said Juan A.
Figueroa, president of the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and
Education Fund (New
York Times). Police Department Officials cited security
as the main reason for rejecting the new card.
Tight security was also blamed for dwindling numbers of tourists
at two of the city's most famous attractions, the Statue of
Liberty and Ellis Island. Only 2.5 million people rode the
ferries from lower Manhattan to Liberty and Ellis islands,
compared to 4 million in 2001, according to the National Park
Another area suffering from shrinking tourism is Chinatown.
Some store owners say that the closing
of Park Row after 9/11 put an end to their businesses.
Until last September, Park Row served as the connection between
Chinatown and its neighbors to the west. It was closed to
create a larger security zone around Police Headquarters.
"The tourism side [of Chinatown] is dying," said Paul
Lee, a store owner (Gotham Gazette).
Security concerns over nuclear weapons in the Korean Peninsula
prompted the United States to require North Korea citizens
to register with the Immigration and Naturalization Service
by January 10 or risk deportation. Korean immigrants in New
York are anxious that they might be the latest target of the
war on terror. "There will be a lot of confusion because many
Koreans were born in North Korea," said Andrew Kim, president
of the Korean American Association of Greater New York (Newsday).
Although his country is not on the government security list,
Marek Czajkowski of Poland was handcuffed, spent 27 hours
at the airport in New York and almost went to jail, because
immigrant officers mistook him for someone else (Nowy
In this January edition of the Citizen, we look at immigrant
reactions to the transfer of the immigration agency to the
Homeland Security Department, the serious health challenges
facing Brooklyn in 2003, and how the Queens Borough Public
Library adapts to changing immigrant communities while checking
out more books than any other library in the country. Also,
articles from the Chinese, Russian, Polish, Korean, Latino
and French press
and much more.