Respect for Immigrants

 Respect for Immigrants

Dear Editor:

We are all hearing a lot about immigrants lately!  Some of us are protesting, some contacting politicians, some thinking about what it all means, and some supportive but wanting more information. Rockaway residents have a variety of perspectives on this, although some perspectives seem to get more attention than others!

Rockaway Women for Progress members also have diverse viewpoints. We generally feel strongly that our country was built on the backs of immigrants, and that we need to approach the current wave of immigration respectfully and humanely.

Like many others, we would like more transparency from our elected officials. If a large number of new arrivals are to be housed nearby at Floyd Bennett Field, it would be helpful to know:

  • Who are the planned residents? What are their ages, country of origin, and work status?
  • Which Non-profits will be providing services there? Will it be Catholic Charities, Legal Aid Society, or others?
  • What is the timeline for their being there? Is there a plan for them to be moved out into communities at some point?

We would like to ensure that our response as a city and a community is compassionate, just, sensible, and humane.

Finally, how can we as Rockaway residents be part of a solution? Not just by saying “Not in my backyard!” but how can we help? Other communities, admittedly with not as large numbers as NYC, have started community support groups that have helped newcomers with supplies, information, and support. Indeed, only recently, Rockaway helped some Ukrainian immigrants in these very ways.

I hope we can continue to have respectful conversations about this issue, and an attitude of being part of the solution.

Jane Canner
Rockaway Women for
Progress member

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