Greenport, New York, a village on the North Fork of Long Island, has become an exemplar of a little-noted national trend immigrants spreading beyond the big coastal cities, driving much of rural population growth nationally. In "e;Village of Immigrants, "e;Diana R. Gordon illustrates how small-town America has been revitalized by the arrival of these immigrants in Greenport, where she lives.
Greenport today boasts a population that is one-third Hispanic. Gordon contends that these immigrants have effectively saved the town s economy by taking low-skill jobs, increasing the tax base, filling local schools, and patronizing local businesses. Greenport s seaside beauty still attracts summer tourists, but it is only with the support of the local Latino workforce that elegant restaurants and bed-and-breakfasts are able to serve these visitors. For Gordon the picture is complex, becausethe wave of immigrants also presents the town with challenges to its services and institutions. Gordon s portraits of local immigrants capture the positive and the negative, with a cast of characters ranging from a Guatemalan mother of three, including one child who is profoundly disabled, to a Colombian house painter with a successful business who cannot become licensed because he remains undocumented. "e;Village of Immigrants"e; weaves together these people s stories, fears, and dreams to reveal an environment plagued by threats of deportation, debts owed to "e;coyotes,"e; low wages, and the other bleak realities that shape the immigrant experience even in the charming seaport town of Greenport.
A timely contribution to the national dialogue on immigration, Gordon s book shows the pivotal role the American small town plays in the ongoing American immigrant story as well as how this booming populationis shaping and reviving rural communities."e;
Village of Immigrants
Rutgers University Press
Latinos in Emerging America
Education & Reference /