This absorbing anthology features in-depth portraits of diverse ethnic populations, revealing the surprising new realities of immigrant life in twenty-first-century New York City. Contributors show how nearly fifty years of massive inflows have transformed New York City’s economic and cultural life and how the city has changed the lives of immigrant newcomers.
Nancy Foner’s introduction describes New York’s role as a special gateway to America. Subsequent essays focus on the Chinese, Dominicans, Jamaicans, Koreans, Liberians, Mexicans, and Jews from the former Soviet Union now present in the city and fueling its population growth. They discuss both the large numbers of undocumented Mexicans living in legal limbo and the new, flourishing community organizations offering them opportunities for advancement. They recount the experiences of Liberians fleeing a war torn country and their creation of a vibrant neighborhood on Staten Island’s North Shore. Through engaging, empathetic portraits, contributors consider changing Korean-owned businesses and Chinese Americans’ increased representation in New York City politics, among other achievements and social and cultural challenges. A concluding chapter follows the prospects of the U.S.-born children of immigrants as they make their way in New York City.