Whatever the politics, Bush’s plan on immigration reform is a good start

A New Deal For Some Of The Region’s Labor Force

The thousands of people here illegally from Mexico, Poland, Ireland, Colombia, China and other countries who prepare our Cantonese soup with dumplings, deliver our tuna sandwiches on wholewheat toast, press our shirts and blouses, sweep under our beds, and prune our shrubbery may have reason to be pleased that President George W. Bush has announced what appears to be genuine and wholesale immigration reform.

Bush proposed this week that the United States set up an expanded system of ‘guest workers’, similar to what is in place in many countries in Europe, which would allow people from other countries to work here for a limited number of years. He also proposed amnesty for those who are already here who apply, and to expand the number of ‘green cards’ given that would allow people to work here indefinitely.

Jackson Heights

An Anachronism Finds Its Way

[Excerpt From Chapter Five]

The Star restaurant it was called. It sold “Chops, Steaks and Seafood.” It was the kind of small Greek coffee shop that used to abound in Manhattan, but has been dwindling even there. Here, it stood out as a leftover from a bygone world.

The shop sat on Thirty-seventh Avenue, the principal shopping street of Jackson Heights. The street was a swirl of color and activity. Colombians on their way to Ecuadorean restaurants to eat yucca or ropa vieja. Koreans and other Asians came out of small stores selling herbs and spices. Indian women walked by wearing scarfs and other components of traditional dress. The street was a river of life, bustling with people and commerce.