A Reader Asks – "Urban Woes" Or Immigration Woes?
September 02, 2002, 05:00 AM
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An Australian Reader Eyes the New York Times Again

From: Robin Corkery

The New York Times sees fit to devote only 2 sentences in a 30-paragraph story to the role of illegal aliens in the Newburgh disturbances of August 25.  One can imagine how the treatment would have differed if a white militia or similar movement were found to have been involved.

Melee Upstate Is Sign of Urban Woes

New York Times, September 2, 2002    

NEWBURGH, N.Y., Aug. 30 - When fighting broke out on Aug. 25 at Broadway and Dubois Street, word spread quickly among the many people whiling away the warm summer night on sidewalks and street corners.

The fracas began, the police said, when someone threw a bottle or a brick at a car. It escalated after the driver, a 33-year-old woman, got out to confront her attackers.

By the time officers arrived, an estimated 150 to 200 people were battling with sticks, knives and bottles…

The police, who are still investigating the melee, note that gang violence has been a major contributor to crime in the area….

Late last month, five men, thought by the police to be gang members, were shot on a block just south of Broadway, prompting State Assemblyman Thomas Kirwan to call for help from the federal Immigration and Naturalization Service. Mr. Kirwan said many local gang members were illegal aliens from Mexico.

Ismael Ortiz, owner of Mi Casa Restaurant on Broadway…, 69, longs for the city he found when he arrived as a teenager from Puerto Rico in 1952.

"In those days, you could sleep in the street, it was so safe," he said. "Now it's different. It's bad."  

September 02, 2002