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HomeFood & DiningPort Chester Microcosm of Immigration Debate

Port Chester Microcosm of Immigration Debate

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If you didn’t see the New York Times piece about the ethnic transformation of Port Chester, now’s the time:

A wave of Hispanic immigrants, both legal and illegal, has transformed downtown Port Chester, which fell on hard times in the 1980s and ’90s after factories and mills closed and an older generation of Italian immigrants moved away or died off.

Today, 59 percent of the village’s population is of Hispanic origin, said Christopher Gomez, Port Chester’s director of planning and development. From 1990 to 2010, Port Chester’s population jumped by 17 percent, twice as fast as Westchester County as a whole.

The immigrant influx, he said, has become the “lifeblood” of the town. “I don’t know where we’d be without it.”

Mexican and Peruvian restaurants dot the downtown streets, while immigrant-owned stores and markets offer goods from Ecuador and services like money transfers to Guatemala and other Central American countries.

photo: panoramio

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