"Regardless, King's position is incredibly short-sighted, as illustrated by a recent study calculating the benefits of Latino immigrants for Long Island's economy:
Even Newsday's conservative columnist Raymond Keating gets the picture:Some of the nation's most virulent anti-immigrant proposals have erupted from Long Island's elected officials, from Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy to local Congressional Representative Peter King, co-sponsor of the harsh and unworkable immigration bill H.R. 4437...The report, which is not yet available online, finds that Long Island Hispanics contribute nearly a billion dollars a year in taxes and other revenues to local government, far more than they use in public services, producing a net benefit to the public of $202 million a year. Consumer spending by Hispanics produced an additional $5.7 billion impact on the Long Island economy, creating more than 52,000 jobs.
"Locally, it's time for some groups to stop kicking around immigrants, and instead start recognizing the role they play in keeping Long Island's economy afloat. Common-sense economics and basic human decency dictate welcoming immigrants and aiding their assimilation.
Meanwhile, our congressional representatives should be pushing for comprehensive immigration reform. Yes, tighten up the borders for national security purposes, but also expand legal avenues for immigration to keep our economy chugging along. It's clear that immigrants are not an economic burden, but instead a blessing."
Keating points out "So the importance of Latinos to the local economy has expanded. Torras and Skinner found that employment among Latinos on Long Island grew by one-third from 2000 to 2004. And between 1997 and 2002 the number of Latino-owned businesses on Long Island jumped by 35 percent, with growth in Suffolk County particularly strong at 51 percent. To sum up, the authors estimated that the Latino population in Nassau and Suffolk had a total economic impact of $5.7 billion in 2004, including helping to create more than 52,000 jobs. The economic pie grew.
But what about the burdens immigrants place on local government services? Torras and Skinner estimated that Latinos directly or indirectly generated $925 million in revenue for local governments in 2004, while costing Long Island localities $723 million. That comes out to a net positive contribution to local government of $614 per Latino resident."
Elana from DMI has more at Albany Project.