For over 300 years, reactionary nativists have been getting shrill and peeing their pants about the great immigrant hordes beating down our doors, coming to take our jobs, our fields, and our daughters. Look out, the Germans! The Irish! The Italians! The Chinese! The Mexicans! Idiots.
Where I hailed him: East Village Where he hails from: India Years as a cabbie: 3 Previous profession: Construction worker
It’s too hard right now. Having the papers is really the big problem, more than getting here. If you don’t have the right papers you can’t get a good job. You want to buy property, without the papers how can you?
OSMAN Where I hailed him: Hell’s Kitchen Where he hails from: Sudan Years as a cabbie: 2 Previous profession: Student
Of course I have to disagree with a bill that would deport immigrants — especially to my country. It’s a dangerous place. I came here with my family to be safe. Some of us immigrants may not have good documentation, but we have good hearts. Sometimes we’re better than some of those who have driver’s licenses and social security cards. And if you have a family, you should not be sent away from your family.
Where I hailed him: West Village Where he hails from: Ecuador Years as a cabbie: 20 Previous profession: Teacher
There’s a problem in this country. We really need immigrants. The businessmen know it. The politicians know it too, but they pretend to hate immigrants. There’s 20 million of us working here right now. Who’s going to do the jobs that we do if we have to leave? Doctors’ sons? Lawyers’ sons? If you rounded up all the immigrants and shipped them out, there’d be no one left to work! It’s a great country, and immigrants make it stronger. Like they always have. Stronger than these rich people that like to start wars... I have a family of four — they’re all Americans. They’ll make their country proud.
Where I hailed him: Lower East Side Where he hails from: Bangladesh Years as a cabbie: 4 Previous profession: Restaurant worker
Whatever the law is right now, I think it’s too strict about letting people in. And from everything I’ve read and everything I’ve heard, now they are trying to make it even harder to get in.
Where I hailed him: Upper West Side Where he hails from: Zaire Years as a cabbie: 2 Previous profession: Laborer
I was born here, but my parents were legal immigrants. I think illegal immigrants should be limited, but legal immigrants should be high.
Where I hailed him: Clinton Hill Where he hails from: Haiti Years as a cabbie: 6 Previous profession: Painter
It depends on who you are. You have money, you have education, you can get in — it’s not too much trouble, you know. But if you’re coming from a poorer country it’s not so easy. It’s two systems — just like everything — if they want you in, you can get in. If not, they make it hard.