he Department of Homeland Security has decided to stop "special registration," a program that, since December 2002, has required male citizens of 25 countries, mostly Arab and Muslim countries, to report annually to the federal government. Officials said questions had arisen about the effectiveness of the program acknowledged that most people who registered have no ties to terrorism -- out of 85,000 registrants, 11 were found to have links to such activity (NY Times).

The US House of Representatives passed legislation in late November that would give employers nationwide access to a federal database, in order to help them determine their employees' immigration status. A similar law went in effect in 1996 in New York and five other states that have a large population of illegal immigrants.

But many undocumented immigrants in New York City can still find employers who are willing to hire them. The Chinese language newspaper The World Journal recently reported that many restaurants are competing for workers, regardless of their legal status. Other employers look to hire illegal immigrants because they provide cheaper labor and require no benefits (Gotham Gazette).

In this December edition of The Citizen, we take a look at the Patriot Act's effect on banking for immigrants, undocumented immigrants and job markets, and the winners of the Union Square Awards. Articles from the Bengali, Chinese, Korean, Polish, Russian and Spanish press, including stories from the Independent Press Association's "Voices That Must Be Heard."

Nurah Jeter Ammat'ullah, the founder of the Bronx-based Muslim Women's Institute for Research and Development, was one of a dozen immigrant leaders who were given this year's Union Square Awards.

Unpatriotic Banking?
From Gotham Gazette
Thanks to the Patriot Act, banking has become more difficult for undocumented immigrants.

Identity Crisis
From JoongAng
Korean American banks are troubled by "ghost customers," who are opening up accounts just to get a proof of identity.

Money Transfer Company Shut Down
From Bangla Patrika
Rupali Bank’s money transfer division in New York was closed by federal authorities for alleged inaccuracy.

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Undocumented Workers
From Gotham Gazette
The Wal-mart raid has once again exposed the exploitation of cheap immigrant labor.

Garment Unions Merge
From The World Journal
Two garment union locals unite to beef up the declining membership.

Supply and Demand
From The World Journal
Chinese restaurants are having a hard time finding workers because there are more restaurants than ever before.

Shortage of Nurses
From Korea Times
American hospitals are supplementing their staffs by hiring foreign nurses from many Asian countries. But Korean nurses can't take advantage of this opportunity because they are not proficient in English.

Workers' Rights
From El Diario
A group of immigrants won their case against the former owner of a defunct supermarket, after claiming that he had exploited them and then fired them without warning when the store suddenly closed.

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Holiday Crime
From The World Journal
Despite declining criminal activity on the Lower East Side, officials warned residents of a possible holiday increase in crime.

Asian Voters Split Over Bloomberg
From The World Journal
A recent opinion poll showed that Asian American voters are divided in their views of Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

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Hope for Immigrant Victims of Domestic Violence
From El Correo de Queens
An obscure law passed in 2002 allows women who are victims of domestic violence, along with their children, to continue their cases for green cards without their abusive husbands.

Visa Lottery
From Nowy Dziennik
The interest in this year’s visa lottery, which gives a chance to win permanent residency in the United States, has been lacking among Polish immigrants.

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New York Russian Media Bought
From Russian Forward
Novoe Russkoe Slovo, the oldest Russian daily newspaper in America, and Narodnaya Volna, the oldest Russian radio station in the nation, have been sold to the Kiev-based Media International Group.

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Generation Gap
From JoonAng
Older Korean immigrants are complaining about the lack of participation in the community from younger Korean Americans.

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