New York is a city of immigrants.
Our past, our present, and our future are intertwined with the immigrant experience.
It is a story of women… men… and children from every corner of the globe who have journeyed to our city in search of opportunity.
Together, immigrants built the undisputed capital of the world.
It didn’t matter whether your path took you through Ellis Island… John F. Kennedy airport… on the famous Marine Tiger from San Juan….or – perhaps – a more difficult route.
People have come because New York is city that calls out to everyone.
We’re a city driven by innovation, by creativity and by people who dared to dream.
That is the immigrant experience.
Immigration is what keeps us young, keeps us vibrant, keeps us competitive and keeps us strong.
Their contributions to our city are seen, felt, and heard all around us. And the vibrancy of our music, food, and art all bear the signature of an immigrant experience that is uniquely New York.
As a famous fictionalized founding father says: Immigrants, they get the job done.
The New York City Council is proud to be a champion for immigrants.
In the absence of comprehensive federal action on immigration, the Council has been unafraid to lead.
We’ve limited our city’s interaction with ICE and removed them from Rikers Island.
We’ve expanded funding for legal services in immigration court, and stood up to protect day laborers.
We created a municipal ID card which is open to all, regardless of immigration status.
Today, IDNYC is the most successful program of its kind in the country.
And when unaccompanied minors started making their way to New York after escaping unspeakable violence, we didn’t turn our back on them- we opened our arms.
Today, the City Council ensures that every unaccompanied minor living in New York City has access to legal representation, as well as health and mental wellness services.
We took action for these unaccompanied minors because our shared humanity demanded it.
We could not ignore these children – or allow them to be forgotten, denigrated and sent back to nations consumed by violence.
They are New Yorkers- and care for our own.
Unfortunately, many don’t see their humanity.
Some even call them illegal.
And while no human is illegal, this strain of thinking has permeated the political discourse on immigration.
In the halls of Congress, some have called immigrants wetbacks, said they are diseased, or worse.
They have called to slash funding for cities with sensible and humanitarian-based immigration policies. They would rather tear families apart than keep them together.
The Presidential election has been no better.
The Republican primary was a race to see who could dehumanize immigrants the most.
End birthright citizenship? Sure.
Oppose the President’s deferred action plans? Of course.
Build a wall? Obviously.
It was a race to find the candidate most eager to strip immigrants of their dignity- -and the undisputed winner of that contest is Donald Trump.
From the moment he rode down his escalator, Donald Trump has built a platform expressly designed to drive us apart – he has run a campaign based on racism and xenophobia.
In Donald Trump’s world, Americans are to be divided up and criminalized by their race or religion – and he is both judge and jury.
He has tweeted anti-Semitic images…..
He has attacked a judge based on his ethnicity…..
And he has refused to condemn white supremacists that gleefully support him….
Of course, this is not terribly shocking coming from the man who was singularly obsessed with the conspiracy theory that President Obama was not born in the United States.
Or a man who thinks Latino outreach is tweeting a photo of himself with a taco bowl on Cinco de Mayo.
In fact, there have been only two constants throughout Donald Trump’s public life: repeated bankruptcies, and racism.
That racism has manifested in several ways: one has been his call for the mass deportation of all undocumented Americans, the other a ban on Muslims.
In Donald’s world, someone’s ethnicity can disqualify them from doing their job. And their religion can disqualify them from coming to this country.
These policies share a commonality: they are both part of Donald Trump’s dystopian and paranoid image of what America is.
Mass deportation would rip people from their homes and tear communities’ and families apart.
These mass deportations would be a Trump-branded reign of terror.
And banning Muslims would set a religious test for immigration where none existed before.
These trample on civil liberties and insult the constitution of the United States of America.
But what about the local economic impact of mass deportations or a ban on Muslims?
Trump has built an empire by playing fast and loose with the numbers — and he has run an entire campaign by being fuzzy on the details.
What would happen under a Trump regime if a deportation force actually removed all undocumented Americans—and banned immigration and travel by Muslims?
How would New York City, as the financial capital of the world, home to world-class educational institutions, an ever-growing tech sector and a tourist destination for millions be affected?
We decided to figure it out – because numbers matter.
In short: Donald Trump’s plans would devastate New York City and State’s economy.
To start, it would cost between $400 and $600 billion – not including capital costs like additional facilities, and agents – to get Donald’s deportation plans even off the ground nationally.
When you consider New York’s share of federal tax collection, that means New York would be sending $49.2 billion to the federal government to pay for the deportations of fellow New Yorkers.
This is an astronomical amount of money.
It’s also astoundingly foolish.
Every day, tens of thousands of undocumented New Yorkers contribute to our local economy.
In New York City, undocumented New Yorkers contribute $793 million in state and local taxes – money that we need, and money that would disappear under a Trump regime.
The City would see employment decline by over 340,000 jobs – surpassing both the 2001 and 2008 recessions.
In total, the Gross City Product would decline by between $23.1 billion $26.3billion.
That would be a 3% reduction in our Gross City Product.
The City’s economy would shrink because of Donald Trump.
And while Donald Trump could watch the ruin from high atop his tacky towers, his plans would have a devastating impact on real people, and would do great harm to the economy of our city.
The closer we look the more it becomes apparent that —shockingly—a con man and reality TV personality masquerading as a policy maker would drive New York’s economy into a ditch.
Meanwhile, granting legal status to undocumented immigrants would mean an additional $176 million in tax revenue for New York City and New York State from New York City residents.
Examining the impact of Donald Trump’s Muslim ban is a little more difficult -so we based our analysis on his statement from December 2015 which said: “Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on.”
Since then, Donald Trump has spouted various versions of his proposed ban.
But we do have broad understanding of what he’s calling for— and we do know who he is targeting — Muslim New Yorkers.
There are almost 263,000 New Yorkers who come from nations where at least 50% of the population is Muslim.
Of that population, nearly 157,000 are working—of these nearly 25,000 are self-employed.
Who are these Muslim New Yorkers? They are a snapshot of our city’s workforce….
33% are employed in industries like construction, manufacturing and public administration.
16% work in the retail and trade industry.
15% are in healthcare.
13% work in the accommodation or food service industry.
And there are nearly1,000 Muslim men and women who bravely serve as NYPD officers.
Overall, workers in New York City who were born in Muslim-majority countries contribute $14.2 billion annually to our local economy.
New York’s Muslim community is a vibrant, diverse, and growing population.
They are important to our economy and they are a key part of our city.
Tourism is another sector which would be hard hit under a ban.
New York City is the top-most destination for visitors from the Middle East to the United States, with over 45 percent of the market share.
320,000 tourists from the Middle East visited New York City in 2014, and spent approximately $1.2 billion.
Compared to other international travelers, Middle Eastern tourists spend twice as much on average.
And 70% of these visitors stayed in hotels during their visit to New York – a big source of revenue for Hotels across the City, and the City’s hotel tax.
This money- like the taxes from undocumented New Yorkers, or the jobs Muslim New Yorkers create– could vanish if Donald Trump got his way.
The numbers tell one story: Donald Trump’s racist fear-mongering proposals would hurt New York’s economy. And they prove beyond a doubt he is unqualified to be President.
Taken altogether, the human and economic costs of these proposals are undeniable and unjustifiable.
They would kill jobs, reduce our tax base, and lower our economic output. They would also make us unsafe.
But of course, this is about more than numbers.
This is about who we are as a people—and what we believe in.
It is easy to get lost in the numbers.
But these are real people … real families.
They are New Yorkers who live and work among us—many in this building right now.
Maybe… even in this room.
The rise of Donald Trump is a soul searching moment and a challenge to us as a City and a nation.
Do we really adhere to the ideals we were founded upon?
Or, are we willing to throw them away because a political strong-man says so.
This is no time for neutrality- and no time for equivocating.
Mass deportation and a ban on Muslims are beyond normal political discourse: it is a dangerous step which leads down a dark path.
The soul of our nation is at stake in this election.
In order to save it, we must be courageous — together. I ask that we all commit -or re-commit- to standing up to hateful policies and protecting the progress that we have fought so hard for.
We must find that courage in ourselves, so we can look beyond our differences …and see the humanity in one another.
New York is a symbiotic place — each part works together to ensure the success of the whole.
Whether you have immigration status or not. Whether you’ve come from a Muslim country or not. You are a New Yorker.
New York needs all of us now.
A better New York is not Donald Trump’s dystopian, fear-mongered New York.
A Better New York is a New York that recognizes ourselves in one another.
A New York which builds and grows together.
That embraces our diversity and harnesses it as a source of strength.
This is the New York we’re working towards.
And that’s the New York which ABNY is working towards.
We don’t need Donald Trump to make New York great again – we never stopped.