Jackson Heights, N.Y., may be a model for immigrant diversity
December 2, 2010
By Juliana Vasquez for the Tucson Weekly
NEW YORK — A stroll down Roosevelt Avenue up to 37th Avenue in Jackson Heights, N.Y., is like walking into the world at large.
An Indian sari shop here, a Bangladeshi market there; across the street, an Argentinean steakhouse.
A table covered with glittering, iridescent Indian-style scarves and shawls sits outside of a shop on 37th just below a jewelry store. Ali Wagar, the owner, stands outside, watching and waiting for his next customer as people rush by on the always-busy New York streets.
“The great part of the immigrant majority here,” Wagar said, “is that they all contribute great things to the community.”
While the illegal-immigration debate continues to divide communities across the country, havens for immigrant businesses like Jackson Heights in Queens, N.Y., shed light on the successes and challenges of immigrant integration.