On any given day and in every corner of the state, immigrants – both documented and undocumented – wake up and set out to work at small, local businesses that they themselves own and operate. This follows a nationwide trend, as immigrants are almost twice as likely to start new businesses than their native-born peers. And while immigrants are more likely to open any kind of business — including large corporations like Tesla, Google, and Pfizer — they are much more likely to own a “Main Street” business than native-born residents. These small businesses, like grocery stores, hair salons and restaurants, generate approximately $1 billion in economic activity every year and are critical to downtowns and local economies across New Jersey with its 565 unique municipalities.
The Fiscal Policy Institute details the resources community-based groups will require to maximize participation in the 2020 Census among “hard to count” residents across New York State. FPI proposes that the governor and legislature include $40 million in next year’s state budget for community-based organizations to do outreach around the 2020 Census. FPI notes that this should be in addition to whatever funds the state commits to its own outreach and media campaigns and funding to local governments. The study was first unveiled at a press conference Monday with the New York Counts 2020 Coalition.
The report notes that community-based organizations must play a big role in maximizing the participation of New Yorkers in the 2020 Census. This is the first year in which the Census Bureau asks residents to fill out Census forms online, raising issues about broadband access as well as comfort level with computers. There may be a controversial question added about the citizenship status of immigrants. And, a number of people are feeling hesitant about giving private information to the federal government.
the Trump Administration published its proposed reinterpretation of a previously arcane rule, known as “public charge.” The new interpretation would radically restrict access to green cards and various types of visas for immigrants who do not have a high enough income, or who have used public health, food, or housing supports they are otherwise qualified to receive. Without input from Congress, the Trump Rule would fundamentally change this country’s approach to immigration, making income and use of public supports central considerations in whether or not to offer people an opportunity to make their lives in this country.
The direct effect would fall on people applying for a green card or certain visas, but the chilling effect would be vastly greater. Many families would very predictably be frightened and confused by the rule. FPI estimates that the chilling effect would extend to 24 million people in the United States, including 9 million children under 18 years old.
Employers that hire refugees see positive outcomes for their businesses, according to a report released today by the Fiscal Policy Institute and the Tent Partnership for Refugees. The study, based on over 100 interviews in four regions of the country, finds that when employers hire refugees they see lower turnover rates among refugees, and widen their pool of potential employees. In addition, many see overall improvements in the company, with their managers becoming more versatile as they adjust to working with a more diverse workforce.
These findings of positive outcomes in the workplace seem at odds with recent restrictions on the number of refugees admitted to the country. Despite record numbers of refugees around the world, the Trump Administration is currently on target to let in the lowest number of refugees resettled in recent decades.