APRIL 2003

•The Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services

• The Bureau of Customs and Border Protection

• The Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement

• The New York City Mayor's Office Of Immigrant Affairs and Language Services

• Citizenship NYC

• New York Immigration Hotline

• National Immigration Forum

• Genealogical Resources in the New York Metropolitan Area

• America Immigration Lawyers Association and the American Immigration Law Foundation

• Lesbian and Gay Immigration Rights Task Force

• Glossary

Local: General

• Archdiocese of New York Immigrant and Refugee Services

• Citizens Committee For New York City

• Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society

Local: Specific

• Asian Americans for Equality

• Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund


• Chinese Progressive Association

• Emerald Isle Immigration Center of New York

• Korean Community Services of Metropolitan New York

• National Association of Korean Americans

• National Coalition for Haitian Rights



Immigrants were among the estimated hundred thousand anti-war protesters marching down Broadway.

At the Rally To Support Our Troops, a mother holds a poster of her son and an Ecuadorian flag.


wo days before the United States launched the war in Iraq, the federal government announced that political asylum seekers from Iraq and other countries with terrorist ties would be put in jail while their applications were being processed (Gotham Gazette).

This was the first new immigration policy set by the Department of Homeland Security after it replaced the Immigration and Naturalization Service on March 1. In stead of INS, there are three new agencies, the Bureau of Customs and Border Protection, the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services.

Mark Thorn, the New York district spokesman, said immigrants probably will not see any immediate difference in policy after the demise of the INS. "Nothing is going to change - it's still amorphous," he said (NY Daily News).

But as the war in Iraq began, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, working with the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, started implementing voluntary interviews with Iraqi immigrants in the United States and promptly arrested ones without proper immigration status.

"We fled from Iraq to find a safe place to live and now we end up with a place where they're doing the same thing," said Ikhlas Aljazani (Newsday). Some questioned whether these policies are permanent or just a wartime security measures.

In addition to a backlog of unprocessed applications, the INS also left behind the controversial special registration program (Gotham Gazette) requiring male citizens from 25 mainly Muslim countries to register with the immigration agency. The deadline for the fourth group for male citizens of Bangladesh, Indonesia, Egypt, Jordan and Kuwait is April 25.

In this edition of The Citizen, we take a look at the reaction of the U.S. invasion of Iraq from immigrant communities, an Al-Jazeera reporter's personal experience as an immigrant in New York, tax filing among undocumented immigrants and French business in an anti-French time. Also, articles from the Arabic, Chinese, French, Polish, Korean and Spanish language press.

Banned From Reporting From The Stock Exchange
From Gotham Gazette
A personal account by Ammar Sankari, a reporter for Arab news network Al-Jazeera.

Arab Public Opinion of U.S. At All Time Low
From The Arab Voice
Even in countries considered allies, most citizens of Arab countries do not hold a positive view of the United States, according to the latest poll. American support of Israel and unilateral approach toward the Iraqi conflict were said to contribute to the single digit favorable rating.

Korean Business: Half Hope, Half Worry
From JoongAng
On one hand, business owners expect to recover from the long recession if the war concludes promptly, but on the other hand, they are also worrying about a worse scenario if the war takes longer than expected.

Freedom Fries
From France Amerique
While French businesses that don’t show their French identity are not suffering from the anti-French sentiment, certain sectors, like wine, fashion and tourism, expect to take a hit.

Polish Troops
From Nowy Dziennik
Poles living in New Jersey and New York were asked whether they support the decision of the Polish government to send 200 Polish soldiers to Iraq.

War And Korean Community
From JoongAng
“We are ‘soldiers without a gun’ in a sense that it is impossible to avoid the direct and indirect effects of the war at home,” wrote a Korean columnist. “Ultimately, our businesses and households are damaged regardless of whether each individual is pro-war or anti-war.”

Isolated Neighbors
From El Diario
Mexico and Chile did not support what was supposed to be a UN resolution authorizing the U.S. invasion of Iraq because President Bush, argues a columnist, has been ignoring his Latin American neighbors.

Chinatown Revitalization
From The World Journal
Chinatown received a new grant to revitalize tourism and solve its traffic problems.

Iraqi New Yorkers Divided
From Gotham Gazette
Some Iraqi immigrants support the war to topple the Saddam Hussein regime but many worry about the relatives they left behind.

New Rule for Political Asylum Seekers
From Gotham Gazette
Iraqis and citizens from other countries that have ties with terrorists will be put in jail when they come to the United States to seek political asylum.

Chinese Indonesians Must Register
From The World Journal
Unlike other countries on the special registration list, Indonesia has a large Chinese population. To avoid being detained, some undocumented Chinese Indonesians have left the country.

A Prayer For Her Two Children
From Hoy
A Dominican mother tries to cope with the fear that her two sons might not return from the war in Iraq. “I am against this war. I don’t think it is worth losing a child for something that can be solved peacefully.”

Mixed Feeling
From El Diario
Mercedes Salamanca is proud of her daughter who volunteered to be in the Navy but she feels the anguish of not knowing where her daughter might be.

A Taxing Time of Year
From Gotham Gazette
Undocumented immigrants cannot work legally, but those who do work are still required to pay taxes. Some fear that filing will put their names in the system but others file because a tax record will help them legitimize their case if and when they get a chance to change their immigrant status.

Tax Audits for Korean Americans
From JoongAng
The possibility that a tax return file will be audited remains very low but it could happen. Some Korean immigrants lost houses and businesses after being audited.

Lent in Greenpoint?
From Nowy Dziennik
The sales in Polish bakeries and liquor stores in Greenpoint are not going down during Lent, even though Poles in Greenpoint claim to be Catholics observing religious practices.

Mysterious Illness Imported
From The World Journal
The City’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene said two New York residents, who just returned from China, might have been infected with the mysterious illness that has been reported in East Asia.

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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