Many Older Immigrants in New York Are Struggling: ‘I Have No Future’

Francisco Palacios, who grew up poor in Ecuador, came to New York City in 1986 so that he could earn enough to someday retire back home.

But after getting stuck in low-paying jobs at restaurants, construction sites and a laundromat, Mr. Palacios, now 70, has no savings and is just trying to survive. Most weekdays, he waits on a street corner in Queens with other day laborers in hopes that someone will hire him to paint homes. “I still feel I have the energy and the strength to work,” he said in Spanish, through a translator, though he believes, “I have no future.”

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Older immigrants like Mr. Palacios now make up just over half of New York City’s 65-and-over population. Their numbers have increased at more than twice the rate of U.S.-born seniors since 2010, mainly because of the graying of immigrants who came decades ago as young adults and workers.

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