Immigrants contribute to LI's economy

Ray Keating, the conservative voice columnist for Newsday, writes positively about the economic contributions of the island's Latino immigrants.

What's interesting is that Keating has written nice things about Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy's fiscal management. But Levy's the guy that's costing island businesses and residents tons of money by chasing away necessary immigrant labor. For example, businesses in the Hamptons are hurting because they can't get the labor they need.

Can you really be a great fiscal manager of government as well as the local chief immigrant harrasser?


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.

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.

What does this all mean? 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.

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