In New York City, the ultimate city of immigrants, we have always known that immigrants are essential: immigrants make up half our city’s workforce and during COVID-19 they came to represent a disproportionate share of the essential workforce in the city. Our city came to rely and continues to rely on immigrants, who also bore the brunt of the fallout of COVID-19. And while immigrants have continued supporting the city as essential workers, they also are stepping up to fill needs in our communities. From food distribution volunteers to those making sure their communities have the latest information and resources, and others who have helped advocate for New Yorkers in the health system, immigrant New Yorkers deserve our thanks and recognition for their invaluable contributions.
Class 1B recently wrote stories about their first days in the United States. Read one story below and take the quiz afterwards to test your understanding!
A Memorable Day
My husband, my son, and I came to the U.S. on September 30, 2013 because my husband said, “We are so young. We should go to see the world outside.”
In the morning, we took three suitcases, and went to the Guangzhou Baiyun airport. The first stop was at the Hong Kong airport for one hour. After that we changed to the U.S. airplane and said goodbye to our country.
On the plane, my mood was very uneasy. I thought a lot. In China, I had a good job, but I couldn’t I do it in the U.S. because my English was very bad. Also I heard that in the U.S. it snows a lot in the winter and it’s very cold. I was very worried.
After about fifteen hours, we arrived at JFK airport. It was night. After we picked up our three suitcases, we waited for my sister.
I heard my sister call my name. We hugged. My sister helped me pull the suitcase and we walked outside and waited for my sister-in-law to pick us up.
It was raining, and I felt very cold. I didn’t see many houses or many buildings. I saw a lot of different skin colors and heard different languages.
After we got to my sister’s home, my sister prepared a hearty dinner for us. But I wasn’t in the mood to eat because I felt very tired, and I felt strange and homesick. I cried. I wanted to go back to China. My sister held me and said, “Don’t worry. Everything will be okay.”