Friday, January 27, 2017

Why The Bronx Will Defend the Undocumented

One thing I am fairly confident about: the political, religious and educational leaders of the Bronx will defend the undocumented immigrants in their midst. Why? Because these hardworking, family loving people have helped the Bronx rebuild and recover from the multiple tragedies that plagued the borough from the Sixties through the Nineties- ranging from redlining, arson and abandonment; to drug epidemics and crime waves; to the cutting off of vital city services. In the last 20 years, when immigration has been at its height, once abandoned Bronx neighborhoods have been rebuilt; crime rates have plummeted; business districts have revived, schools have improved and new churches and Islamic centers have opened all over the borough. Wherever you have new apartments and homes and businesses going up, you can find immigrants from West Africa, the Dominican Republic, Mexico, the West Indies, South Asia and Eastern Europe. Whether legal or undocumented, they have been part of a great American Success Story.
The Bronx was once the place people came from all over the world to see how neighborhoods could be abandoned and destroyed without warfare. Now it is a place where people come to see how such neighborhoods can be completely rebuilt, and, increasingly, to hear great music and eat great food.
Immigrants have been an integral part of that success story. Anyone seeking to deport them- no matter what's their legal status- will meet fierce resistance