On Wednesday, December 18, New York City Department of City Planning’s Population Division released its 2013 edition of the “The Newest New Yorkers: Characteristics of the City’s Foreign-born Population.” For the past 21 years, the Department of City Planning has published the annual report to provide “comprehensive information on the foreign-born to policy makers, program planners, and service providers, to help them gain perspective on a population that continues to reshape the city.” The data provided is of great use to immigrant-focused community development organizations like AAFE so that they can continue to provide services in areas where they are needed most.
One finding of note included in the report is that Chinese immigrants now make up New York City’s second largest immigrant group, right behind Dominicans. Over the past ten years, the city’s Chinese population has grown by 34%, now with a total of 350,200 people. If these rates persist, the Chinese will be the city’s largest immigrant group within the next few years. This growth is largely attributable to Chinese immigrants receiving asylum petitions. In total, there are almost 3.1 million immigrants living in New York City, the area’s highest total ever.
In addition to the agency’s established comprehensive housing development, home ownership, small business, community organizing, and community services programs, AAFE has recently expanded its services to cater to this growing Chinese population. Earlier this year, AAFECare Center for Seniors opened its doors to help tenants successfully age in place, giving seniors the ability to live in their own homes and community safely, independently, and comfortably, regardless of age or income. In Flushing, AAFE launched its new Workforce Development Program to assist unemployed and underemployed individuals with job placement and soft skills training necessary to successfully interview for a job.
AAFE Executive Director Christopher Kui said, “The recent report from the Population Division of the New York City’s Department of City Planning quantifies something our agency has know for quite some time: there is an increase of immigrants coming from China. We believe immigrants have a positive impact as they are critical to the economic revitalization of our city.” He added, “At the same time, we need to ensure that the City provides the necessary infrastructure and culturally competent services to enable immigrants to integrate with the larger community so their American Dream doesn’t turn into a nightmare.”