The 17th NYC Immigrant Heritage Week 2021 is April 12-18, 2021. The celebration commemorates April 17, 1907 when 11,000 immigrants, the most in one day, passed through Ellis Island in New York Harbor.
NYC Immigrant Heritage Week 2021
April 12-18, 2021 ~ There isn’t that much going on because we are still figuring out the COVID-19 pandemic. But we can contemplate our origins from home.
Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs
NYC has its own Department of Immigrant Affairs at nyc.gov. Their point of view is that “when you are here, you’re a New Yorker.” What a great city.
In 2018, the Department reported that we now have the largest number of immigrants in our City’s history. Most are naturalized U.S. citizens. Many are permanent residents. Some are undocumented, and when you consider undocumented, you must consider families because many undocumented live in mixed-status households.
In 2018, foreign-born individuals were 23% of New Yorkers.
Immigrants own 52% of NYC businesses and contributed an estimated $195 billion (about 22% of GDP) to the City’s economy in 2017. We are clustered in education, health and human services.
The Feds can be completely senseless, but we trust the City.
City of Immigrants, Country of Immigrants
New York is a city of immigrants and the United States is a country of immigrants. We attract people willing to work hard to improve their lives and the lives of their children. Immigration is what makes us great.
Families Who Walk the Length of Mexico Deserve a Chance
The immigration energy has shifted from New York City to the Mexico border, but we shouldn’t be so hard on migrants. People don’t migrate for a bigger television. You have to move when there is nothing to feed the children and nothing to plant for the next year. You have to move tonight when gangs threaten to take your child tomorrow. Hunger and death are the motivations. You have to move when there is death behind. Who would send people back to that?
When a family loses everything, walks the length of Mexico or even all the way from South America through great danger, they deserve a chance. Historically, most American immigrants came with nothing and built our country from nothing.
Do Unto Others
The two crises that are fueling migration to the southern border are climate change and gang crime. We caused both problems. We are historically the world’s biggest polluter so we have responsibility for climate change. The gangs that have taken de facto control over Central American countries were trained in Los Angeles jails before being deported to their heritage countries where they took over.
Remember what happened to the 900 Jewish refugees from Nazi Germany on the St Louis ocean liner in 1939. They were turned away, forced to return to Germany and many died in the death camps. In 2021, you can’t say you didn’t know. What kind of people turns away children and families fleeing certain death?
White supremacists, who cry that immigration takes something from them, have no idea how stupid they look. If your job is threatened by someone who doesn’t speak English, doesn’t know our customs, and has no money or education, you must be a real loser.
Give immigrants a chance, and they will become productive Americans, just like our ancestors did.