Honoring Our Borough’s Immigrants

This week’s PRESS of Southeast Queens features a story on the rise in hate crimes citywide, a piece on a Queens couple who has struggled due to interactions with Immigration and Customs Enforcement and a rundown of how sanctuary cities could be affected by President Donald Trump’s policies— but also a profile of an immigrant who has built a successful music empire in the borough.

In 2017, being an immigrant in the United States and Queens, which is home to people from across the world who speak approximately 138 languages, is a mixture of hope and fear— in terms of the former, the opportunity to make a life in a diverse nation built by immigrants and, as for the latter, concerns stemming from President Donald Trump’s plans to crack down on undocumented people across the country.

For many residents of our borough, self-identification is made up of a number of factors. They are Queens residents, New Yorkers, immigrants and— either now or soon to be— Americans. And many of these people who call our borough home are concerned with the message coming out of Washington D.C. and, most specifically, the White House.

Children who go to school in the morning have fears that when they return home in the afternoon, one or both of their parents might not be there to greet them. We need to protect our children, but also provide support for their families and adults who need to be defended while they live under a constant cloud of suspicion.

The rest of the nation should take note of Queens, which is the world’s most diverse county, to see how people from all different backgrounds live together peacefully. Elected officials representing the city and state have rightfully vowed to protect New York immigrants and the five boroughs are considered a sanctuary city, where immigrants will not be turned over for deportation.

Here in Queens, we’re proud of our diversity and the fact that our borough provides a home to so many different types of people from different walks of life and countries of origin.

 

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