Tuesday, July 29, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Riverside Dreams

Riverside Dreams

Tiny Riverside, Burlington County - a destination. That's what they wanted. And they got their wish. People are coming. They're just not the ones anyone here was expecting. They're immigrants from Brazil. And over the last five years, as many as 5,000 of them have flooded in and around Riverside's 1.5 square miles, catching off guard the town and its 8,000 souls.

Tiny Riverside, Burlington County - a destination. That's what they wanted. And they got their wish. People are coming. They're just not the ones anyone here was expecting. They're immigrants from Brazil. And over the last five years, as many as 5,000 of them have flooded in and around Riverside's 1.5 square miles, catching off guard the town and its 8,000 souls.
RIVERSIDE DREAMS
MULTIMEDIA | SLIDESHOW
 
Riverside | Capoeira dancing
 
Riverside Dreams
Maps of Brazil and Riverside, NJ
04/26/2007
They hoped this old town would be rediscovered someday. That new life would course through the tired streets, revive the aging storefronts, fill the burnt-out, boarded-up buildings. And when they learned that a new light-rail line was coming - the first passenger service in 40 years - their hope soared. Mark our words, community leaders said, the train will bring people back. In their dreams, this blue-collar burg on the Delaware's banks, a place the booming suburbs drained long ago, would be bypassed no longer. The town once called Progress would prosper yet again. First, the developers would come. Then the young professionals and empty nesters, filing into new lofts and townhouses and restoring the lonely downtown to a vibrant business district. Tiny Riverside, Burlington County - a destination. That's what they wanted. And they got their wish. People are coming.
Last of three parts.
04/26/2007
Immigration has been coming down on Brazilians in and around Riverside, N.J. Federal agents have been knocking on doors, hauling people away. Over the last five or six years, up to 5,000 Brazilian immigrants, most of them illegal, have made their way to the area, centering their lives on this old industrial town of 8,000. Most are young men seeking work, usually as carpenters, to bankroll a future back home. By the beginning of this year, some were moving out, fearful of getting deported. Like most of them, 14-year-old Cindia and her relatives have crossed the Delaware River to Northeast Philadelphia, home to a burgeoning Brazilian community.
How This Story Was Reported
Reporter Jennifer Moroz made more than 50 trips to Riverside during 15 months of reporting. She interviewed more than 150 residents, about half Brazilians and half locals, including police and municipal and school officials.

In May she traveled to , where over two weeks she interviewed about 50 people, including U.S. State Department and Brazilian officials. She has spoken with a dozen immigration officials and experts, including several specializing in Brazilian immigration, and read dozens of articles and books on the subject.

Many interviews were conducted in Portuguese through an interpreter. The last names of some Brazilians have been omitted at their request to protect their identities or those of relatives.