Cristina Jimenez has a great post up at DMI blog, about a recent report on the impact of immigrants on the economy of Long Island, New York.
As the most rapidly growing population, immigrants have become an instrumental part of the workforce and important contributors to the Long Island economy. Compared to less than one third of non-immigrants living in the Island, “over 46 percent of Long Island’s immigrants are in the “prime working age” category of 18 to 44.”
Both documented and undocumented immigrants contribute an estimated $2.13 billion in taxes and other government revenues, far more than they use in public services like schools, health care, and corrections. In 2006, immigrants produced a net benefit to Long Island of about $1.07 billion. Contrary to Long Islanders perception of immigrants, their total spending produced an economic impact of $10.6 billion.
Instead of alienating this vital labor and economic force, Long Island legislators and the public should realize the instrumental role that this population plays in the Island’s economy. Integrative policies, not punitive laws, are needed to keep and enhance immigrants’ positive economic contributions to Long Island.
From evidence like this and the recent report on immigrants’ impact on Nebraska’s economy, it is clear that the anti-immigrant movement can no longer claim that immigrants are a drain on our economy. We are tired of the rhetoric of hate and divisiveness. It is time to remember that we are all in this together and to remember the value that immigrants bring to our country.