2 thoughts on “Shelter System and Other NYC Services Should Be Safe for Migrants, Experts Say

  1. Joe Bialek from Cleveland, Ohio, writes to City Limits:

    My grandfather Albert Joseph Bialek came to the United States from Poland
    {Galicia} in 1910. Per the Ellis Island website he boarded the ship Kaiser
    Wilhelm der Grosse in Bremen, Germany {formerly Prussia}. He had just
    completed his service in the Austrian Army. Poland at that time was divided
    into three spheres of influence by Austria, Prussia and Russia. Upon being
    discharged he returned to his father’s farm. Officers from the Austrian
    Army made an attempt to reenlist him but tradition dictated that he could
    remain at home so long as he was sorely needed on the farm. Immediately
    after the officers departed Albert’s father gave him his brother’s travel
    documents and instructed him to immigrate to the United States. His father
    knew that war was coming and he didn’t want to lose his son to it. It took
    me longer to locate my grandfather on the passenger list because I had
    forgotten he was traveling under the name Jan and not Albert. Given the
    fact that Albert entered the United States under the name Jan Bialek and
    later burned his immigration papers it is evident he was by definition a “illegal
    immigrant.” He went on to become a very hard-working brick mason and
    law-abiding citizen raising 12 children with the help of his Polish wife
    Mary {nee Mazan} and the rest {as they say} is history.

    Just as Cleveland {Ohio} is a city of neighborhoods so is the United States
    a country of immigrants. In fact all the major cities of America {at one
    time} served as incubators for immigrants to not only become accustomed
    to the ways of this country but also to intermingle with each other {often
    prohibited in their native homeland}. It’s a shame that the inner cities were
    handed over to the absentee landlords following World War ll. Just imagine
    how much stronger and united our country might have been had this unofficial
    tradition continued. Gentrification is not the answer. Preventing immigration is
    not the solution. Intense vetting is acceptable during these challenging times
    but to unfairly deny one person access to the United States makes us all orphans
    again. As a popular song goes: “let me in immigration man.”

  2. Pingback: Lenni Benson, Safe Passage Founder, Quoted in The New Yorker and City Limits - Safe Passage Project

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