On Oct.27, the Fiscal Policy Institute released its New Americans on Long Island report. It found that immigrants account for 16 percent of Long Island’s population and 17 percent of its economic output.

Chart / Fiscal Policy Institute, New Americans on Long Island

The report also found that 54 percent of immigrants work in white-collar jobs, and are come from a variety of countries of origin. An affluent suburban area, three quarters of immigrants on Long Island are homeowners and over live in households with an annual income of more than $80,000.

David Dyssegaard Kallick, Director of the Institute’s Immigration Research Initiative said: “I think it’s time to turn the page on the immigration debate on Long Island,” says “Too often, people assume that they know all they need to know about immigration by driving by a shape-up site for day laborers. There are 462,000 immigrants on Long Island, of which the few dozen men standing on scattered street corners are a tiny fraction.”

Read more about the study on the New York Times blog, City Room

I chose the article because I taught English to immigrants in eastern Queens, and many of my students lived on Long Island. Many of them had white-collar jobs or had husbands with white-collar jobs and were affluent. A couple of them were also homeowners.

The New York Times article on the study discussed how some Long island officials have argued that “immigrants are a financial drain” on the community. Even though the study seems to debunk this idea, the Times article also quoted people who said: “the study was done by a ‘left-leaning’ group that did not adequately distinguish between documented and illegal immigrants.” The Times article did a good job balancing those opinions and that of the study and portraying the immigration debate on Long Island.

-Cristabelle Tumola

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