Dominican Children in New York City Schools Face Two-Edged Sword

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Dominican Children in New York City Schools Face Two-Edged Sword of Difficulties

Residents of the Dominican Republic, especially the impoverished ones, have long viewed the United States and especially New York City as a land of limitless wealth. All you have to do is live there for a few years, and you too will be wealthy.

This erroneous vision was fostered in the 1980s with the crack epidemic centered in Washington Heights, an area located north of New York City and predominantly populated by Dominican immigrants. Thousands of dollars in cash were sent back to the families, who still lived in the Dominican Republic.

Though the days of easy money have passed, the Dominican poor still believe that, if only family member can reach the U.S. and remain for a few years, he or she could bring the entire family remaining in the Dominican Republic out of poverty. Thus, the Dominican Republic is the largest exporter of immigrants to the New York City schools. Dominican immigrants now comprise ten percent of the 1.1 million students in the New York City schools.

These young New York City schools immigrants face particularly difficult problems as they...

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