From the USSR to the U.S.: an argument in favor of the NYS Dream Act

By in Asian Immigration, European Immigration, Immigrant NYC, NYC History, Uncategorized

Some of the world’s most developed and prosperous countries, which incessantly boast about their tolerance, have come face-to-face with the “intensification of the national question”. And today, one after another, they have had to admit their failure to integrate outside cultural elements into society and ability to ensure a peaceful, harmonious interaction between various cultures, religions, and ethnic groups. The “melting pot” of assimilation continues to stall, unable to “digest” the growing migration flow. In politics, a reflection of this fact has been “multiculturalism”, which rejects the notion of integration through assimilation. It elevates the “right of minorities to be different” to the absolute and, at the same time, fails to balance this right with civil, and cultural obligations. More interesngly, these problems have existed and persist in our own backyard. New York...

From Lev to Leo

By in European Immigration, Immigrant NYC

By Sutton Bantle, Wagner College Lev (Leo) Kukhar, now twenty-one years old, was only two when his family emigrated from Kiev (Kyiv), Ukraine to Brooklyn, NY. His mother, father, and maternal grandparents left Ukraine less than two years after it became an independent country from the Soviet Union. Leo describes himself as a Russian immigrant versus Ukrainian because his family associates with the Soviet Union. Ukraine is located in Eastern Europe bordered by Russia to the East; Belarus to the North; Poland, Slovakia  Hungary, and Romania to the West; and the Black Sea to the South. Leo’s immediate family that immigrated with him were not the first to arrive in Brooklyn. He had extended family members who had immigrated during the reign of the Soviet Union. The Kukhars are an example of chain-migration. Within six months of his family’s arrival Leo’s cousin, aunt and...

Welcome to Greektown

By in European Immigration, Uncategorized

History of Greek Immigration Greeks have been coming to America since the 1700s from Mani, Greece and by the early 20th century 95% of the Greek immigrants were male. By 1920 there were 9 men for every 2 woman. More Greeks were migrating to America, and particularly New York City, during the 1960s and 70s because of the Greek Revolution of 1967. This is a time when three military men were afraid of losing their power and decided to politically take over Greece. During this time people left due to the war and economic downfall. They came to America – the land of opportunity. Most Greek immigrants came New England, the West, and large cities like New York City. They would than find work in factories and restaurants working as bus boys and dishwashers. Most Greek immigrants would have a positive relationship with their employer which would lead to occupational mobility. Many Greek...

To be Italian or American?

By in European Immigration, Immigrant NYC

Interview “I want my daughter to have a better life than me,” Joann Maniscalco said but when asked if keeping the Italian culture or being Americanized was a better life for her daughter she shrugged. Joann Maniscalco came to American from Milan, Italy on September 14, 1974 by plane so that her mother could rejoin with her siblings and parents.  Joann struggled with the language for a bit, she spoke about how her history teacher asked her to read a page from the textbook and Joann didn’t know what to do because she did not know how to read it or speak.  Her teacher encouraged her to try her best and with help from classmates, she was able to learn it.  She married to Vincent Maniscalco and they had their daughter, Antonella.  The three live in Staten Island and are struggling with keeping the culture Joann grew up with and the American culture that surrounds them everywhere....

A Journey Of A Lifetime

By in European Immigration, Uncategorized

By Amanda Fugel Wagner College ’16 Italian Immigration to America Post 1924 On March 14, 1950, Carmela Martines started off her new life with her voyage to “the Great” USA. At 18 years old my grandma, also known as Nonna, made the journey to what she and her family considered to be the “Land Of Opportunity.” Coming to America was more than just an opportunity for my Nonna. She came here for work and to be reunited with her family again. Little did she know, that thanks to her brave move, our family would have something to carry on and support us from generation to generation. How Sicilian Ideals Got in The Way: “The peasants in the primarily poor, mostly rural south of Italy and on the island of Sicily had little hope of improving their lot. Diseases and natural disasters swept through the new nation, but its fledgling government was in no condition to bring aid to the people. As...

Honoring World War II Veterans

By in European Immigration, Holocaust

Staten Island in World War II WWII Veteran John Byrnes of Staten Island, New York discusses his dramatic and tragic experiences as a U.S. Navy Gunner in the Pacific Theater, notably the horror of the USS Franklin attack in the Battle of Okinawa. Interview with Lori Weintrob, Wagner College, March 2013 for the Staten Island Holocaust Commemoration and Honoring of WWII Veterans.