FEBRUARY 2003

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A minivan pulls into an inspection area at the Canadian border crossing in Lewiston, New York .

Special Registration
From Gotham Gazette
Bangladesh, Indonesia, Egypt, Jordan and Kuwait have been added to the list of countries whose male citizens must register with the Immigration and Naturalization Service if they intend to stay in the United States.

Canada Bound
From Gotham Gazette
Attempting to avoid registration and the risk of being detained and deported, thousands of undocumented Pakistani and Arab immigrants in New York are fleeing to Canada.

Rumor Has It
From Daily Khabrain
Many Pakistanis waiting in line for registration left the office and went back home after hearing a rumor that Pakistan had been removed from the special registration list.

new rule by the Immigration and Naturalization Service requires male citizens from 25 countries who reside in the United States to register with the agency. How will this new requirement affect immigrants in New York City? Commissioner for the Office of Immigrant Affairs Sayu Bhojwani will answer your questions about this issue and any others you may have, as well as guide you through the improvements in the web site of the Office of Immigrant Affairs, in Gotham Gazette's online chat on Friday, February 28, at 2pm.

Within weeks of its implementation, the special registration requirement has turned many lives upside down. "All of a sudden we got a lot of work to do," said immigration attorney Jo Anne C. Adlerstein. Some immigrants take the registration as just another time-consuming bureaucratic chore, but many are afraid that they will be detained if they register. (Gotham Gazette).

Many undocumented Pakistanis have avoided the registration and fled to Canada (Gotham Gazette) but this could become more difficult because U.S. and Canadian officials are looking for a way to tighten border security (Associated Press).

Even with a massive turnout for the registration program, the immigration office in New York did not add more staff. "They've had to pull people working on adjustments of status and other projects," said attorney Christina Labrie. "Now applications that take two or three years to process will take even more. (The Village Voice) "

Backlog problem aside, the immigration agency will start reducing fees for processing applicants for such items as work permits and green cards. "You could look on this as a 'going out of business' sale," said one INS official referring to the move to the Homeland Security Department. (Washington Post).

In this February edition of the Citizen, we look at an effort to help undocumented immigrants who lost loved ones on 9/11, housing problems in the Dominican community, a shortage of Fujianese speaking social workers and why reading is the only way to save your children. Also, articles from the Chinese, Russian, Polish, Korean, Latino and Urdu press … and much more.


Living in Limbo
From Gotham Gazette
Some immigrant families who lost loved ones on September 11th are faced with the extra burden of worrying about being deported. State and federal officials are trying to present themselves as allies to these New Yorkers.

Anti-American?
From JoongAng
A Korean-American organization issued a resolution urging Koreans to hold back on their anti-American rally. "It is not right for some Korean-Americans to take advantage of the anti-American tones in Korea to promote anti-American protests here," said one member.



Lion dance and firecrakers are integral parts of Chinese New Year's celebration.

The Year Of The Goat
From Sing Tao Daily
The Chinese community lobbied for permission to use fireworks again during the Chinese New Year, which would reverse a ban placed by the Giuliani administration. The importance of firecrackers in the new year celebration is reflected in the old Chinese saying: "One crack gets rid of the old year."


Start Reading, Kids
From Russian Bazaar
With all of the images from TV, magazines and commercials, children in America will turn into a homogeneous mass, argues a Russian columnist. The only way to escape this is through reading, he writes.

Number One
From El Diario
Because of massive immigration and high birth rates, Hispanics now surpass African-Americans as the largest minority group in the United States.

In Search of Fujianese Speaking Social Workers
From Sing Tao Daily
Many Chinese social service organizations say they lack staff who can speak Fujianese, a language spoken in the Fujian province where many new immigrants came from.


Factory Owes Nearly Half A Million In Back Wages
From Sing Tao Daily
More than 100 garment workers protest to demand their unpaid wages.

Fans Lose Jobs
From Hoy
New York hospital workers lost their jobs after they visited the queen of salsa, Celia Cruz, in her sick bed.

False Job Ads
From World Journal
Some classified ads placed in Chinese newspapers turned out to be scams to trick new immigrants.


The Rising Cost Of Living
From Dominican Times
Many Dominicans cannot afford apartments that meet basic living standards, but there are ways to improve your chance of finding affordable housing.

Moving Out
From Nowy Dziennik
Many Poles have moved out of Greenpoint to Ridgewood where rents are cheaper and more brick houses available. The layers of bricks covering the walls of houses in Ridgewood remind Poles of Europe, said one resident.

Increasing Crimes In Flushing
From JoongAng
A Korean reporter argues that there has been a surge in racial crimes against Chinese and Koreans in Flushing.

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."

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