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  1. #1
    Administrator Jean's Avatar
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    May 2006

    Port Richmond streets deserted in reaction to fears of immigration crackdown

    Normally busy Port Richmond Ave. full of empty sidewalks. Monday, January 11, 2016. (Staten Island Advance/ Jon Reyes)

    By Diane C. Loreon January 12, 2016 at 1:53 PM

    STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- By mid-afternoon, Port Richmond Avenue is usually humming with activity. Mothers push baby strollers along the avenue, and people walk in and out of the several bodegas, with plastic shopping bags laden with groceries.

    The park opposite PS 20 on Park Avenue is usually filled with kids, just let out of school and full of pent-up energy.

    And not long after dismissal, the Port Richmond branch of the New York Public Library, on Bennett Street, off the park, begins to fill with parents and kids who sit and do homework or use the computers, until the sun goes down and they walk home for supper.

    But the neighborhood has been eerily quiet, the streets all but deserted, as residents of the borough's largest Mexican community react to new federal initiatives on undocumented individuals and families.

    "In more than 30 years, I've never seen the streets here in the neighborhood so empty," said the Rev. Terry Troia, executive director of Project Hospitality, which has its headquarters on Park Avenue.

    The concern was heightened following reports Friday that federal immigration officials allegedly detained and arrested a Mexican immigrant and father of a young son in New Dorp, not long after he had dropped the child off at a neighborhood school.

    Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials did not respond to Advance requests to confirm that an enforcement action had been taken.

    Favio Ramirez, executive director of Port Richmond-based El Centro del Immigrante, says he spoke with the man, whom he would not identify, but said is being held in a New Jersey correctional facility.

    Regardless, word of the incident spread quickly through Staten Island's tight-knit immigrant community, already on edge over national reports of immigration sweeps.

    "When something like this happens, the community is really afraid...and they stress a lot," said Ramirez.

    "They stay at home, they are afraid to go shopping or go to the church, and that's not good for the community. That's not good for Staten Island," he said.

    Nearly 150 community members packed El Centro del Immigrante last Tuesday night to receive detailed information about what they should do if detained.

    "We explained in English and Spanish what the people's rights are, whether documented and undocumented, what should they do if they're detained, or raided," Ramirez said.

    He said El Centro would be planning additional meetings to keep the community informed.
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  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    That's not good for Staten Island
    Illegals in our country are not good for America - we are a country, we have borders, we have laws, so leave.

  3. #3
    Senior Member lorrie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    See.... it only takes limited immigration enforcement to spread fear across America to get them started packing!

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