Preface

New York is the quintessential city of immigrants. It takes its unique character from the millions of people who have come, are coming, and will continue to come to our city in order to make their homes here. New York welcomes its newcomers and their infusions of new life, new ideas, and new energy.

It made good sense to me when the Department of City Planning undertook the research that was to become this book. I wanted the city to learn as much as it could about its new residents: who they are, how they live, what they give us, and what we give them.

It also made good sense to establish an office that would devote itself full-time to thinking and writing about immigrant issues, and pulling together the efforts of all the city agencies whose clients include immigrants. I set up such an office at the City Planning Department in July 1984, building on the expertise that department had been developing in immigration data and research.

It is a source of satisfaction to me that in its three years of operation, the Office of Immigrant Affairs has been able not only to complete this book but also to produce a directory of immigrant service agencies and a pamphlet explaining the complexities of public entitlement criteria for immigrant applicants. Furthermore, this office has served the city well as a source of information and policy analysis on legislation and service issues, and it has been a coordinating body for agencies serving immigrants, both inside and outside city government.

As far as I know, New York City is the only jurisdiction in the country that has established an office to deal with the needs of all its immigrants, not just refugees, naturalized citizens, permanent resident aliens, or

-xi-

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Immigration in New York
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • List of Tables vii
  • List of Figures ix
  • Preface xi
  • Acknowledgments xiii
  • Part I - The Background 1
  • 1 - Introduction 3
  • 2 - Social and Legislative History 11
  • Part II - Today's Demographics 31
  • 3 - Recent Statistics on New York City Immigration 33
  • 4 - Undocumented Aliens and the Census Undercount 50
  • 5 - Five-City Comparison 58
  • 6 - Ethnic Geography 68
  • 7 - Employment Patterns among Today's Immigrants 82
  • Part III - The Service Delivery System 99
  • 8 - Social Services: Welfare and Beyond 101
  • 9 - Refugee Resettlement 119
  • 10 - Cuban/Haitian Entrants: a History 134
  • 11 - The Catholic Church and Its Services to Immigrants 140
  • 12 - The Role of Public Education 153
  • 13 - Issues in Health Care 168
  • 14 - Immigrants and the Criminal Justice System 180
  • 15 - The Immigration and Naturalization Service 190
  • Part IV - For the Record 205
  • 16 - Costs and Revenues 207
  • 17 - Ethnic Media 218
  • 18 - Inventory of Academic Studies 231
  • 19 - Conclusions and Recommendations 243
  • 20 - Epilogue: a Paean to the Lady 250
  • Glossary 251
  • Acronyms 257
  • Bibliography 259
  • Index 263
  • About the Author 269
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