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The Citizen
The Citizen /December 01, 2006

Discrimination At Voting Sites? Board of Elections Apologizes
From World Journal
The New York City's Board of Elections clarified that some of the discrimination reports filed by the Asian American Educational and Defense Fund during the midterm elections were the results of misunderstandings of the law.

Expectations on Spitzer and His Agenda for Immigrants
From El Diario
New York immigration activists have a state agenda of measures favorable to immigrants that they want the new governor, Eliot Spitzer, and the Legislature to take a look at.

Russian Candidate Won A State Assembly Race
From Novoye Russkoye Slovo
Alec Brook-Krasny, a 48-year-old Seagate resident, former Muscovite, has become the first Russian-speaking legislator in United States history.

With Democrats winning a majority of both houses of Congress for the first time since 1994, many immigrant advocates hope that immigration reform will now be imminent. "The political earthquake in Washington has knocked loose some of the big obstacles to fixing the immigration system." said an editorial in the New York Times.

Immigrants have hope for Albany as well; they hope Governor-Elect Elliot Spitzer will help them with what many consider their most pressing state-wide issue, allowing undocumented immigrants to obtain driver's licenses. Spitzer said during his campaign that "denying driver's licenses is like denying the American dream."

But if getting a driver's license may become easier, getting U.S. citizenship could get more difficult. The federal government will start giving out a new and more difficult citizenship test that will focus less on facts and more on the principles of a democracy. “Our goal is to inspire immigrants to learn about the civic values of this nation," said Emilio Gonzalez, director of the Citizenship and Immigration Services.

Below are stories from the Bengali, Chinese, Korean, Russian, and Spanish language press via our partner, Voices That Must Be Heard.

Small Schools Exclude Many Immigrants
From Gotham Gazette
The school reform efforts by Mayor Michael Bloomberg have dismantled large, failing high schools and created nearly 200 new small high schools to replace them. But there is one group of students for whom small schools are not as beneficial as they could be – immigrants and students who are English-language learners -- because many small schools do not accept them.

New Citizenship Tests
From Novoye Russkoye Slov
Immigrants will be given a newly developed test, which will replace easy questions -- such as what the colors of the American flag are -- with a focus on questions about constitutional rights, U.S. government bodies, and the electoral process.

More Koreans Applying for U.S. Citizenship
From Korea Times New York
The number of Koreans applying for U.S. citizenship has sharply increased, according to several reports.

Bangladeshis In New York Fear Loss of Access to Construction Business
From Weekly Thikana
Many Bangladeshi construction workers and contractors said that their business has declined since 9/11 because people have not felt comfortable hiring Muslim contractors to work in their homes.

Chinese Nail Employees Seek Better Working Conditions
From The World Journal
The gradual dwindling of the garment industry over the past few years has forced many Chinese workers – mostly women – to seek work at nail salons. This shift, however, has brought an increase in the number of complaints about employers at nail salons exploiting their employees.

New York-based Korean Economy Boom
From Korea Times New York
A new report shows that businesses run by Koreasn in New York have experienced a rapid increase.

Tension Rises Between Jewish-Muslim Communities in Brooklyn
From Forward
Orthodox Jews and Pakistani Muslims normally live side-by-side with no problems in the Midwood section of Brooklyn. But the beating of a 24-year-old Pakistani by a group of Jewish teenagers who hurled ethnic slurs is causing tensions to rise.

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Gotham Gazette is published by Citizens Union Foundation and is made possible by support from the Robert Sterling Clark Foundation, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Altman Foundation,the Fund for the City of New York and donors to Citizens Union Foundation. Please consider supporting Citizens Union Foundation's public education programs. Critical early support to Gotham Gazette was provided by the Charles H. Revson Foundation, Rockefeller Brothers Fund and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

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