Saturday, April 30, 2016

Immigrants in the Bronx Are an Overwhelmingly Positive Force

In the Bronx, where I teach, do research, and work closely with local community organizations, the contribution of immigrants-legal and undocumented- has been overwhelmingly positive. The rebuilding of once devastated Bronx neighborhoods has coincided with an influx of immigrants from West Africa, the Dominican Republic, South Asia, the West Indies, Mexico and Albania. These immigrants have built businesses, become an essential part of the local labor force, founded churches and mosques, and sent their children to local public schools where their work ethic and passion for self improvement have made a huge impression. I have had the privilege of teaching many children of these immigrants at Fordham. They are and have been some of my best students. Many of them have overcome huge obstacles to achieve academic success Attacks on Muslims and Mexicans and threats to deport undocumented immigrants, are very personal issues to them. These young people represent the best values of our country. They deserve better than to be demonized and insulted by Presidential candidates.

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