JANUARY 2003

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Praying For Work Permits
From Hoy
Mexican immigrants in New York celebrated the date that the Virgin of Guadalupe appeared in 1531 to the Indian Juan Diego above the Tepeyac hill.

housands 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 Service (Associated Press).

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 Dziennik).

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.


INS Mistake
From Nowy Dziennik
A Polish immigrant was handcuffed, spent 27 hours at the airport in New York and almost went to jail, because Immigration and Naturalization Service officials mistook him for someone else.

Keeping Tabs
From Poleznaya Gazeta
The Justice Department admitted that it is unable to determine the whereabouts of half the immigrants registered as possible candidates for investigation in connection to September 11. A Russian immigrant explains how he would track down the candidates if he were an FBI agent.

Immigration Delays
From Hoy
Activists say that President Bush’s plan to incorporate the Immigration and Naturalization Service into the new department of Homeland Security will only increase delays for immigrants applying for a green card.

More Green Cards For Koreans
From SeGye
The number of Korean immigrants who have a green card is growing, largely because more Korean students stay in the United States to work after graduating from college.

Health Troubles
From Gotham Gazette
New York Carib News Editor Michael Roberts warns of the health crisis facing Brooklyn immigrants in the near future.

City’s Housing Problems
From Hoy
If New York City housing costs remain this high, the city may become "a plutocratic New York, whose neighborhoods are inhabited only by the upper-middle-classes and the rich," argues an Hoy editorial.

Teen Violence
From World Journal
Rising numbers of Chinese-American students are becoming victims of violence in New York City high schools.



More Asians At CUNY

From World Journal
The number of Asian students at the City University of New York went from 4.7 percent in 1980 to 14.2 percent this year, higher than the overall percentage of the Asian population in New York City, which is ten percent.

Golden Jubilee Of The French Consulate
From France Amerique
The French consulate celebrates its 50 years of serving the French community in New York.

Chinatown’s Slowdown
From Gotham Gazette
Park Row is the only major road that remains closed after September 11th. Police say that a terrorist threat makes it necessary, but Chinatown’s residents and business owners say that it is the closure itself that is threatening them.

Korean-Chinese Businesses Grow
From JoongAng

Ethnic Koreans who lived in China before coming to New York are now opening more businesses, using their capacity to speak both Korean and Chinese.




Location of Foreign Born

City Of The Foreign-Born
From Gotham Gazette
Andy Beveridge gives a new portrait of foreign-born New Yorkers, based on newly released census results. Also: the census bureau starts defining what white means.

* * * * *

The World's Library
From Gotham Gazette
Through its New Americans Program, the Queens Borough Public Library works to serve the borough’s diverse immigrant community.


Help For Gay Immigrants
From Ecuador News

Gay activist Fausto Paez talks about problems facing homosexuals in Ecuador and the United States and how his organization, Latitud Cero, helps gay immigrants in New York.

A Dollar A Day
From JoongAng
Korean New Yorkers have started a new charity campaign, where people give one dollar each day to Korean community service groups.

We call this section The Citizen because all New Yorkers are citizens of the city, whatever their federal immigration status. We thus restore the word "citizen" to its root in the word "city."

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