Essay about Puerto Rican Migration to Nyc

1142 WordsNov 2, 20085 Pages
Christine Costanzo Puerto Rican Migration to New York City The story of the Puerto Rican people is unique in the history of U.S. immigration, just as Puerto Rico occupies a distinctive—and sometimes confusing—position in the nation’s civic fabric. Puerto Rico has been a possession of the U.S. for more than a century, but it has never been a state. Its people have been U.S. citizens since 1917, but they have no vote in Congress. As citizens, the people of Puerto Rico can move throughout the 50 states just as any other Americans can—legally, this is considered internal migration, not immigration. However, in moving to the mainland, Puerto Ricans leave a homeland with its own distinct identity and culture, and the transition can…show more content…
factory owners and employment agencies had begun recruiting heavily on the island. In addition, the postwar years saw the return home of thousands of Puerto Rican war veterans, whose service in the U.S. military had shown them the world. But perhaps the most significant cause was the sudden availability of affordable air travel. After centuries of immigration by boat, the Puerto Rican migration became the first great airborne migration in U.S. history. The first great generation of Puerto Rican migrants established communities in cities throughout the country, including Chicago, Philadelphia, and Newark, as well as in mid-Atlantic farm villages and the mill towns of New England. However, since the 1930s, the capital of Puerto Rican culture in the mainland U.S. has been New York City. Despite its great distance from the Caribbean, New York had long been the landing point of seagoing Puerto Ricans, and the airborne newcomers followed suit. The new migrants settled in great numbers in Northeast Manhattan, in a neighborhood that soon became known as Spanish Harlem. Although many had been farm workers in Puerto Rico, they know found themselves working in a wide variety of jobs, staffing the hospitals, the hotels, the garment factories, and the police departments of their new hometown, and they soon became a significant force in the city’s political and cultural life. The migration to the 50 states slowed

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