Life and death underground: N.Y. immigrants perish in flooded basements

The story of Ida’s victims in the basements of New York is a tale of neglect and desperation, of strapped landlords straining to cover their nut and deciding to ignore the law, of an overwhelmed bureaucracy incapable of enforcing the city’s housing rules. Above all, it is the story of newcomers to a land of plenty, people who fled hardship only to find a different kind of struggle, families in which everyone works, often at two jobs, and can only barely hold onto an illegal, cramped space in the storage area of someone’s house.


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