... "It's all about the bread," says owner Tom Brown. Shipments of soft, airy Italian rolls arrive from Port Chester, N.Y., to create the restaurant's best-selling sandwich. Porterhouse steak is sliced razor-thin, seared on the grill with salt and ...
... on behalf of Patricia Pelletier by the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation. The suit accuses the Port Chester, N.Y.-based Local 1103 of the Communications Workers of America of forgery, identity theft and civil conspiracy, among other ...
The Texas man accused of holding illegal immigrants hostage in a Port Chester attic will likely plead guilty to federal charges in the case, according to federal authorities.
Port Chester native Meaghan Francella is back in action this week on the LPGA Tour, playing in the Evian Masters in Evian, FrancePORT CHESTER Sandra Garcia's weekly meetings for Latina immigrant women are not a place where you'll find can-do stories about pursuing the American dream.
Her Friday morning support group at Summerfield United Methodist Church deals with some of the downsides, including the isolation that women feel in their new community and the difficulties in handling problems such as domestic violence, evictions, illness and loneliness. The program has become a catchall for women who feel alone and, in many cases, do not have legal status in the United States.
If nothing else, Garcia said, the goal is to create a couple of hours during the week when the women can relax.
"At the same time I feel like I want more for the community, especially for my people, for 'mi gente,' " she said last month, as women wheeled their strollers out the door to end the program's sixth year. "Especially with immigration. I'm just waiting and waiting for something to happen."
Family Services of Westchester, a nonprofit organization based in Port Chester, sponsors the support group along with similar programs for Hispanic families in Tarrytown and Mount Kisco. Another Port Chester support group, Project Madres, meets across town at Holy Rosary Church, sponsored by the Junior League and Catholic Charities.
Men are welcome at Garcia's program, called Latino Connections, but most participants are young mothers. About 50 took part in the past year, from September through June. The participants may be referred to specific services, such as one-on-one counseling, as needed, said Gerry Goldberg, outreach coordinator at Family Services of Westchester.
Garcia, a mother of four who is married to the Rev. Rafael Garcia, said she is frustrated to see the ways that immigration problems compound a family's struggle. Many women are undocumented with no way to earn legal status, and with no way to visit their relatives back home. Some have come to the U.S. to support children in their home country, then bring on new challenges by having another child here.
One woman had been afraid to leave an abusive husband because she was an illegal immigrant, Garcia said, but she managed to qualify for a visa available to domestic violence victims. Others have come just for the companionship. A 36-year-old woman from Mexico said she came to the meetings because she had no extended family nearby and felt alone.
She described her husband's continuing, 6-year-old attempt to gain legal residency and their decision to bring their three children to the U.S. without legal papers. The oldest, 19, works with his father in construction.
"Now after three years, I'm getting accustomed," she said. She plans to stay in the United States "as long as they don't take us away."
She and others did not want to be identified because of their undocumented status.
Maria, another woman from Mexico, said she has decided to return home after six years in the United States.
"I came because my husband was here. I didn't want to be alone anymore with my children," said the 34-year-old mother of three, who has worked in a Pennsylvania apple orchard and a nursery. Now the family has saved enough money to buy an avocado farm in Michoacan, Mexico. For the youngest child, who is 7, it will mean going to a village she hasn't seen since age 1. Maria said she is concerned that her older children won't have a good future in this country without U.S. citizenship.
"I've told them a lot about their village, so she really wants to go," Maria said of her youngest child. "And I told her we'll never come back here, and it's OK. There are many opportunities there (in Mexico). It's that people don't know what to do to get ahead there."
Another woman, Luz Dueñas, has legal permanent residency in the United States but struggles with the language barrier. For about eight years, since emigrating from Colombia to support two children, she has worked nights on the cleaning staff at New York Medical College. Though she studies from an English textbook at home, she left a doctor's office recently because she wasn't able to communicate.
"People reject you because you don't speak English," Dueñas, 46, said in Spanish.
In their meetings, which are conducted in Spanish, the women have listened to guest speakers discuss topics like personal health and the public school system.
Port Chester is easily half Hispanic, but bridging the culture gap still takes work, said Brenda Giancaspro, who works for the Port Chester schools. She has attended the support group for the past four years as a way to get past the distrust and intimidation that can keep Latino parents from seeking help for their children.
"I really try to foster mutual respect, both ways," she said. "I think the barriers are starting to be broken down."
Psychologist Mariana Dueñas, who is not related to Luz Dueñas, visited last month and coached the women on how to look after their own needs. She urged them to seek opportunities for themselves and for the next generation.
A toddler was wandering around the room, and the psychologist asked: "Who knows if that girl might become a senator someday?
"You are the ones responsible," she told them.=================================================
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