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Letter: Immigrants

At last there is breathtaking news that confirms what many have been saying for many years about immigrants.  (See Kirk Semple, L.I. Study Rebuts Perceptions on Immigrant Workers, The New York Times, Nov. 18, 2010).  A commendable study by Hofstra University has found that:

“The growing immigrant population on Long Island has made a disproportionately large contribution to the region’s economy, with immigrants employed across the spectrum of occupations and more than half of the immigrant labor force holding white-collar jobs, according to a study released on Wednesday.

“But contrary to a widespread perception on Long Island, the study said, the expansion of the immigrant workforce - both legal and illegal - has crowded out few American-born workers.”

Similar studies may also find that this is the case nationally as well. It’s time that our exclusionary immigration policies be reviewed to determine the extent to which national security interests and our nation’s economy are impacted by them. There is obviously a large group of immigrants that pose no threat to us and who should be given a rapid path to citizenship or permanent residency. With up to 15 million alleged illegal immigrants in this country, identifying them and allowing them to pay their fair share of taxes will assimilate them while adding to our economy. What are our elected representatives waiting for? We can reduce unemployment; add to our production and tax base by legalizing most of our immigrants. Let’s get past fear, hate and prejudice.

Thomas F. Liotti
Attorney, Westbury Village Justice