MARCH 2003

• Immigration and Naturalization Service

• 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



Anti-War Protest
From Sing Tao Daily
Local and out-of-town Chinese immigrants were among more than 100,000 people who marched in last month's anti-war protest.

Should We Go To War?
From Hoy
Immigrants in New York appear to have different perspectives on why there should, or should not, be war.

Greenpoint Fears War
From Nowy Dziennik
Poles in Greenpoint are against the impending war because they fear that the attack on Iraq would bring another September 11 and unleash War World III.

Worrying About Two Possible Wars
From JoongAng
Many Korean immigrants believe that war with Iraq will hurt the economy, and at the same time, they are anxious about the crisis in the Korean Peninsula.

For The Boys
From Hoy
A good-bye ceremony for more than 200 reservists for the US Army, Division 77, Company 237 took place at Fort Totten, an old military base in far eastern Queens. A significant portion of the members of Company 237 are Hispanic.

hat are the issues facing New York City immigrants?

1) Immigration status, 2)the lack of awareness of government services, 3) exploitation in the workplace, 4) discrimination and 5) the inability to speak English.

So said Sayu Bhojwani, who next month will celebrate her first anniversary as the first New York City Commissioner of Immigrant Affairs, in our recent online chat with her.

But immigrants also share the same concerns with other New Yorkers, like the impending war with Iraq. Opinion among immigrant groups is mixed. Some immigrants along with thousands of other people, took to the streets to protest the possible war. “Many Chinese think of the Middle East as a far-off region having very little to do with us… however, since we came here to stay, our future and the future of this nation are one and the same,” said Zhong Chaoyin. (Sing Tao)” Other immigrants are fearful but think the war might be necessary “I think that war can be justified, since it is a way of fighting terrorism,” said one Polish immigrant (Nowy Dziennik).

Korean immigrants’ anxiety about war is two-fold. They are afraid of the economic consequences of a war with Iraq and concerned about the nuclear crisis on the Korean peninsula (JoongAng).

Immigrants from Muslim countries face a crisis of their own as Congress has agreed to fund the Special Registration Program, which required certain immigrants to report to the Immigration and Naturalization Service (Washington Post). Meanwhile, the immigration agency implemented a new computerized data base system that is supposed to track foreign students and report whether they are really enrolled in school. Immigration officials hope that it will close student visa loopholes and prevent the fraud that leads to the rising number of illegal immigrants (Gotham Gazette).

The new estimate from the 2000 Census shows that seven million undocumented immigrants live in the United States. But New York State’s share of the nation’s undocumented population decreased from 10.2 percent in 1990 to 7 percent in 2000. “ The nation is driven by [immigrants from] Mexico but… our immigration is driven by the Caribbean and increasingly Asia,” said Joseph Salvo, a demographer with the Department of City Planning (Newsday).

In this March edition of the Citizen, we look at immigrant reaction to the new redistricting plan that is supposed to increase ethnic representation, how new traffic laws hurt Korean business, Columbus Park revitalization in Chinatown and the selection of Daniel Libeskind, an immigrant, to redesign the site of the former World Trade Center. Also, articles from the Arabic, Chinese, Polish, Korean and Spanish press.

More Latino Representation
From El Diario
A new redistricting plan said to give more ethnic representation has been approved. Critics complain it favored the Puerto Ricans but not other Latin communities.

Redistricting of Chinatown
From Sing Tao Daily
Some said it would benefit Chinatown to stay in the same district with Battery Park City in the rebuilding of Lower Manhattan. Others argued that Asian voters would have been better off combining with Hispanic voters in another district.

Columbus Park
From Gotham Gazette
Having served countless tai chi practitioners, fortune-tellers, Chinese chess players and basketball lovers for years, Columbus Park is finally getting the support its needs for an overdue facelift.

“Jewish Architecture”
From The Forward
A writer recounts Jewish achievements in architecture including the recent selection of Daniel Libeskind as the winner of the competition to redesign the site of the former World Trade Center.

Vanity Fair Makes Fun of Spanish
From Hoy
Australian diva and Vanity Fair columnist Dame Edna offended many Spanish speakers when she wrote “there's nothing in that language worth reading, except Don Quixote.”

No Heat
From World Journal
Chinese tenants suffer from lack of heat in Chinatown apartments. Some have complained to their landlord but most try to adjust to the lack of heat. “I already have my immigration status and a lot of debts to worry about. As for other issues, I’d rather ignore them,” said one tenant.

An Online Chat With The New York City Commissioner Of Immigrant Affairs
From Gotham Gazette
Commissioner Sayu Bhojwani answered questions about her agency and issues facing New York City immigrants.

Tracking Foreign Students
From Gotham Gazette
The INS launched a new program that is supposed to track foreign students and close the loopholes in student visa procedure. While it might help reduce visa fraud, critics question the time and money being spent and whether it will unfairly target legitimate students.

More Asian Drug Users in Queens Schools
From World Journal
An increasing number of Asian students in 35 elementary and middle schools in Queens have used drugs and marijuana, according to a recent finding.

Generation Gap
From JoongAng
Many Korean students suffer from depression and have difficulties adjusting in college, said a student counselor. In many cases, students’ psychological problems can be traced to conflicts with their immigrant parents.

Counting Mosques
From The Arab Voice
An American Islamic organization is calling on the Department of Justice to rescind a new policy that would have FBI field offices count local mosques as part of waging the war on terror.

Regulations Hurt Business
From JoongAng
A new regulation reduces the time that commercial trucks can park and load at groceries and delis from one hour to 20 minutes. “We often have no choice but getting tickets, at least one or two in a week,” one truck driver said.

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."

This website is brought to you by Citizens Union Foundation and is made possible by grants from the Charles H. Revson Foundation, the Independence Community Foundation, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, the Rockefeller Foundation, the New York Times Foundation and visitors like you.