We are a nation of immigrants. For 240 years we have opened our arms to those seeking to come to America and for many of those years New York has been ground zero. But the immigrant story, even in, or especially in New York, has not been one of ease. The process and pain of assimilation, the fear of the other, the competition for resources have always created wedges between immigrant groups and so called nativists.
So why is it that these issues seem to repeat themselves over and over, like a kind of Groundhog Day. The issues are the same, only the ethnic roots change...yet we never seem to learn the lessons.
George Washington University historian Tyler Anbinder looks at this history in City of Dreams: The 400-Year Epic History of Immigrant New York
My conversation with Tyler Anbinder: