For nearly 400 years, New York has been a city of arrival and settlement for immigrants. The Statue of Liberty stands in New York harbor, a beacon that has welcomed millions of persons to the City. Today, about one-third of the City’s residents are foreign-born. Unlike other cities with large numbers of foreign-born, no one immigrant group dominates: the top ten source countries constitute just over half of the immigrant population in New York—led by the Dominican Republic, China, Mexico, and Jamaica. All this contributes to a remarkable diversity for which the City is justly renowned.
In this course, students will review the history of immigration to New York, and then examine a number of issues facing immigrant populations, such as work, legal status, and culture. The course then focuses on several of the major immigrant groups and neighborhoods in the City. As part of the course, students have an internship with a community-based organization working with immigrant populations.