Once a week I walk over the Manhattan Bridge, from my teaching job in Brooklyn, through Chinatown, and down to the Staten Island Ferry terminal.

Along the way, I pass the Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s office. It is located amidst a generally depressing landscape of massive, grimy towers, in the vicinity of Worth and Centre Streets.

The highlight of this long stroll, aside from the wondrous bridge views, is the site of the old Collect Pond, which was once a gathering place for residents of the rough-and-tumble Five Points.

Of course, the highlight this past week has been the well-dressed and blow-dried news correspondents, and their crews and carts and lighting equipment. It looks like they're shooting four or five movies in the area.

I guess you could say Stormy Daniels is the star of whatever it is they are looking to film.

Personally, I can do without the Donald Trump arrest and trial or whatever it’s going to become. Which does not change the fact that this dope deserves everything he gets.

Once he stirred up a giant barrel of Obama fake birth certificate Kool-Aid, he could have gone on to a career more admirable than Pope Francis’ and Mother Teresa’s. I still would wish him a giant barrel of ill will.

What we know is that, to Trump, this indictment is worse because it’s happening “while our country is going to hell.” As he put it on social media. In all caps, naturally.

Trump needn’t look any further than Bragg’s office for proof. Right there in Columbus Park is where hundreds of immigrants gather every day.

They play soccer. They play dominoes and gamble. Some drink and smoke weed and fight.

To Trump and his many supporters, these are the people building America’s hell-bound handbaskets.

Never mind that more than a few Trumpies had ancestors from Mayo or Cork who strolled their cows over to the Collect Pond 170 years ago. To chat. Or drink or fight.

If they could afford a cow. Or afford to keep the cow rather than eat it.

But just like the Irish in the days of the Five Points, immigrants are actually saving America. From hell?

No need to put things quite like that. But look at so many other countries across Europe and Asia, with their low birth rates and aging populations, and stagnant economies.

Go ahead, bash “Inflation” Joe Biden all you want. But please point out three or four stronger national economies right after you’re done.

In the end, the US economy continues to chug along because of the constant influx of immigrants.

“The number of immigrants nearly tripled in the nation’s 20 most populous counties from 2021 to 2022, as immigration returned to pre-pandemic levels nationally,” The New York Times reported last week.

“Altogether, the nation’s 20 largest counties gained more than 300,000 new residents between July 2021 and July 2022 through international migration, which consists mostly of immigrants but includes anybody that moved to the U.S. from overseas. For some of these counties, such as San Diego, Miami-Dade and King County in Washington, which includes Seattle, immigration stabilized the population numbers, which otherwise would have decreased.”

Do immigrants bring challenges? Of course.

For conservatives as well as liberals.

CNN recently reported about a “political awakening” in San Francisco, where immigrants from Asia and elsewhere are thinking more like Republicans.

“California activists warn that these shifts in the politics of San Francisco – a place that has long been a beacon for progressives – are a signal to national Democrats ahead of 2024 that the party needs a course correction with the fastest growing racial group in the U.S. – Asian Americans.”

The Times did a similar study of Asian voters in Brooklyn and Queens.

What do you expect? Sometimes the political talk in Columbus Park gets angry.

Just like it did around The Collect Pond and Five Points.

*This column first appeared in the April 5 edition of the weekly Irish Voice newspaper, sister publication to IrishCentral.