Tag Archives: Immigration

“Journey” Teaser Series: What happened to the Brooklyn neighborhood called “Little Pakistan”?

For a full answer to this and other questions, see Journey into America: The Challenge of Islam

In Brooklyn, New York, there is a neighborhood that calls itself “Little Pakistan”. Located on Coney Island Avenue, the neighborhood was described to us, by people we met, as an energetic and bustling part of town. But, everything had changed. The neighborhood was nearly empty. We were told that something like40 percent of the Pakistani population had either voluntarily left, were deported, or simply disappeared.

In the days and months after 9/11, security had tightened, the community was repeatedly raided for illegal immigrants, and hundreds were deported. Many more left because of fear. In another part of Brooklyn,  Imam Siraj Wahhaj spoke about the fear of those in the neighborhood. “Just imagine FBI knocking on your door at 3:00 in the morning and questioning you,” he said, “people get scared.” Some estimate that about 15-20,000 left the neighborhood. Many stores went out of  business. “In the old days,” someone said, “when you went to Coney Island Avenue you saw a lot of people, even at 12 o’clock midnight. And now at nine o’clock at night this place is deserted.”

The neighborhood is now seeing a resurgence thanks to many Pakistanis who have returned. We have much more on Little Pakistan, National Security and Immigration in the book. Please order below.

Order Journey into America: The Challenge of Islam.

Next: Who is the “Yankee Mahomet”?

“Friendship Beach”: The border wall

The Border Wall at "Friendship Beach"

The Border Wall at "Friendship Beach"

By Craig Considine – In San Diego, the team witnessed, observed and felt the atmosphere of the border fence along the US-Mexican border.  On the way to “Friendship Beach”, I observed six or seven army helicopters flying above , saw plenty of ‘Danger’ signs, lost articles of clothing and shoes, armed Border Patrol agents riding in jeeps, and countless construction men working diligently in their bulldozers to construct walls and fences to keep illegal immigrants out of the US.

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South Side of Chicago

Last week’s trip to Chicago was great—we met lots of interesting people and had the chance to explore the city, complete with its stunning skyscrapers and views of a glittering Lake Michigan. I’ve been coming to Chicago for years because my father is from the city. My grandmother was from a Lithuanian family and my grandfather an Irish family. They settled in a working class neighborhood on the South Side of Chicago. My grandfather was a fireman and worked many other odd jobs and my grandmother stayed home to care for their eight children. This was a Catholic, immigrant neighborhood and my father’s best friend next door was Italian. The family lived in the same house from the 1940s until my grandmother moved out in 2000. When I was growing up I used to come to the house for family reunions. I would play catch behind the house in one of Chicago’s famous alleyways. Over the years more and more of the old European Catholics moved out to the suburbs, and more Mexicans began to move in. Continue reading