Advocates & Researchers Highlight New Data On Positive Economic Impact Of New NYC Immigrants

Report Underscores Need For Legal Services And Pathways To Work For Recently Arrived Asylum Seekers 

The event was streamed on Facebook Live

Photos and videos are available here

New York, NY—Today, advocates highlighted newly-released data by the Immigration Research Initiative on the economic prospects of new arrivals and their positive contributions to New York City’s economy. Researchers from the Immigration Research Initiative will explain their findings, which estimate $23 million in total wages and $2.6 million in state and local tax revenue is generated per 1,000 migrant workers within their first year. Advocates pointed to these numbers as proof that immigrant New Yorkers uplift our economy. State and City leaders must invest in legal services to ensure new arrivals can find pathways to work. 

“For generations, immigrants moving to New York City have been vital in shaping our economy and helping our communities thrive,” said Murad Awawdeh, Executive Director of the New York Immigration Coalition. “This new data confirms that communities who embrace immigrants benefit from billions of dollars in economic activity and a stronger workforce. Removing barriers to work will help new arrivals live their American dream and grow our regional economies. City and state leaders will miss the opportunity to give our economy a much-needed boost if they do not prioritize critical investments in integration supports like immigration legal services and funding and expanding housing voucher eligibility so all New Yorkers can power our state into the future and thrive.”

“The challenges associated with newly arriving immigrants are real, but they are largely temporary,” said Anthony Capote, Immigration Research Initiative. “Our research shows what so many researchers and advocates already know: Immigrants are resilient and capable of tremendous economic mobility. The longer new immigrants spend in the United States, the more their wages and economic contributions grow.”

“This report only proves what many previous studies and immigrants’ rights organizations have repeatedly voiced––Immigrant New Yorkers are not a burden, they are our City's greatest strength and resource. It is clear that investing in our immigrant communities is not only the morally right move to make, it is also an investment in NYC’s economic future. This is why it is so crucially important to fund long-term immigration legal services. Currently, newly arrived immigrant New Yorkers are facing difficult barriers to legal status and economic independence because of our complex immigration system. They are falling through the cracks as they struggle to find affordable legal services, face a system with limited language accessibility, and are often unaware of whether or not they qualify for asylum, TPS, work authorization, or other forms of immigration relief. Providing funding for long-term wraparound immigration legal infrastructure is the best way to ensure that immigrants can obtain long-term status, work authorization, and access to resources that will include them in our economic life and allow NYC to prosper,” said Oriana Shulevitz Rosado, Policy and Advocacy Strategist, Immigrant ARC.