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Letters: Many kinds of people have long commutes

Studies show foreign-born workers now outnumber U.S.-born workers

Studies show foreign-born workers now outnumber U.S.-born workers taking the reverse commute to Long Island. Above, handyman Miguel Mane, a Dominican immigrant, rides the subway at 5:50 a.m., part of his two-hour Brooklyn-to-Hempstead commute. Credit: Jeff Bachner

Regarding “Immigrants reversing the routine” [News, July 29], I would like to lay out the daily trip I once took from Long Island to Manhattan.

I walked three or four blocks to Hempstead Turnpike, took the bus to 168th Street and Jamaica Avenue, caught the J train to Manhattan and walked four blocks to my job. The walks, bus and train took about 1 1⁄2 hours, and that was on a good day, just one way. I did the same to get home, for a total time of about 11 hours.

Only after about eight years, when I got a raise, was I able to afford to take the Long Island Rail Road into Brooklyn, and subways into Manhattan.

Not only immigrants, but U.S.-born workers as well, spend large parts of our day going to and from home and work.

Thomas Smith, Riverhead

Why devote a page and a half to immigrants’ reverse commutes to their jobs? What makes their plight any more difficult than other commuters’? How about those such as myself who traveled 2 1⁄2 hours each way to work just to make better lives for their families? Is there a subliminal message that Newsday or reporter Matthew Chayes is attempting to convey?

Stew McMullan, Wading River