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The Asian Lunar New Year (Gotham Gazette)gets new recognition from the city.


Russian New Year traditions (Gotham Gazette) stem from the communist ban on religion.

Holidays are often difficult for immigrants who are separated from their families. Undocumented immigrants may decide not to attempt a visit to their home country this season, as they run a greater risk of being caught and barred from re-entering the U.S. for up to a decade. On January 1, 2003, the Immigration and Naturalization Service will begin using improved technology to determine whether or not a traveler has overstayed his or her visa (Irish News).

The new year will also usher in much more weighty changes for the immigration service. President George Bush signed legislation on November 25 to create a new Department of Homeland Security (New York Times). The bill - which causes the largest shifts in governmental responsibilities since the Department of Defense was created after World War II - will move the Immigration and Naturalization Service out from the control of the Justice Department and split it in half. The bill separates the agency’s enforcement jobs, like border control and deportation, from its work overseeing green cards and naturalization.

For this holiday season, the New York City Council has brokered new recognition for the Asian Lunar New Year (Gotham Gazette), while the federal government sued a national supplier of Christmas trees, garlands and wreaths for not paying overtime to its largely Mexican workers (New York Times)

In this, the December edition of the Citizen, we look at how some New York hospitals are trying to better serve immigrants, the Polish joke phenomenon and the debate surrounding the northernmost member of New York City’s Museum Mile, El Museo Del Barrio. Also, articles from the Chinese, Russian, Polish, Korean, Latino, French and Arabic press.

Hospital Headaches
From Gotham Gazette
For New York's immigrants, health care can be confusing and frustrating. Some hospitals are trying to change the situation.

Free Health Fair
From SeGye
The Flushing Chinese Cultural Center held a Health Awareness day for Asian senior citizens.


Islam in America
From Arab Voice
A New York City Imam describes his work to make Islamic religious traditions better understood in the United States.

An Irish Samaritan
From Irish Voice
Fiodna O'Grady, an immigrant who felt "instantly at home" in New York, now works to build the name of an Irish charity stateside.

True to His Ovens
From France-Ameriqué
A French chef reflects on his 56 years in the kitchen of Manhattan's Cote Basque, and how the city's French restaurant scene has changed.


El Museo del Barrio Examines its Roots
From Hoy
The Museo del Barrio is at the center of a debate: should the institution stay true to its beginnings in the Puerto-Rican community, or develop into a museum for Latin American art in general?

A Cleaner Flushing
From World Journal
Chinese business owners have hired a company to sweep Flushing's streets and clean up the neighborhood's trash.

Protect Your Savings
From Pleznaya Gazeta
A Russian newspaper gives advice on how to avoid inheritance taxes.



Where do Polish Jokes Come From?
From Nowy Dziennik
Professors, students and others spent a day trying to get to the bottom of the phenomenon.

Is Bilingual Education Passé?
From El Diario
New York City bilingual education programs are giving way to other ways of teaching to immigrants, like English as a second language and immersion.

Crowded in Queens
From Gotham Gazette
In the South Asian communities of crowded Queens, landlords are not always villains, but victims along with the tenants they are evicting.

Tough Going for Dollar Vans
From Carib News
Drivers of the so-called "dollar vans," which actually carry passengers in Brooklyn for $1.25 a ride, provided the only transportation for Queens commuters during this summer's bus strike. But now they are being accused of driving unsafely and breaking the law.

Deli Workers Organize
From Hoy
Ninety percent of New York City's deli workers are Mexican immigrants, many of whom work illegally long hours. After a campaign for better working conditions, 20 delis have now signed a code of conduct.


This hidden tribute to New York City immigration--one of several tile panels--can be found at the intersection of Baxter and White Streets in Chinatown.


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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