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Immigrants doing their part during Sandy

Services New Yorkers rely on, such as the bus system and subway, have been shut down during and in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, and it's expected those services may not be up and running again until Oct. 31. That means people who are willing to keep working during these tough times will offer much-needed help to the many New Yorkers who still need to address day-to-day activities.

One segment of the city's population that has already shown its willingness to "weather the storm" is the immigrant community. According to a Fiscal Policy Institute report from 2011, half of New York City's small business owners are immigrants. In particular, 90 percent of limousine and taxi services in the city are owned by people who were born outside of the United States.

Given the destruction caused by Hurricane Sandy, much of the city's day-to-day operations have quickly been left up to those businesses. Other services such as healthcare and food delivery are expected to provide major immigrant support as the city gets its bearings.

One report estimated that the five boroughs might see damages of up to $18 billion as a result of the hurricane. But despite the damage to property and the tragic loss of life, some economists have taken an optimistic view, predicting that the clean-up and reconstruction after the storm could create jobs and generate some economic growth for New Yorkers.

Those considerations are likely not on the minds of most people who have witnessed the events of the last couple of days. Nonetheless, immigrants and non-immigrants alike will work together, as they have before, to put New York City back on its feet.

Source: ABC News, "Immigrant Jobs Keep New York City Running During Sandy," Ted Hesson, Oct. 29, 2012

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