Trump’s sustained attack on immigrants, both undocumented and authorized, is damaging businesses across the United States, including on Long Island.
As the New York Times reported, the federal government is now denying more visas and throwing up more bureaucratic roadblocks by demanding more information than usual and delaying approvals, as compared with last year.
The red tape translates to positions going unfilled, opportunities being lost, and businesses suffering. As the New York Times reported, a new doctor’s seat remains empty at Northwell Health’s pathology lab on Long Island, after unexplained delays with her visa have left her stuck in Punjab, India.
“There have been delays in processing that we have not felt before,” Dr. Andrew Yacht, chief academic officer at Northwell, told the New York Times.
The contributions of immigrants to businesses on Long Island are clear and well-demonstrated by research data. A Fiscal Policy Institute report from 2015 details the various economic contributions of immigrants on Long Island, including the fact that they comprise 18 percent of the Long Island population and contribute 20 percent of its economic output. With more than 40 percent of Long Island immigrants paying over $10,000 in property taxes, their essential role is evident.
But, the recent developments are simply the culmination of the Trump administration’s trajectory. Just recently, reports surfaced that U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is hiring a small army of lawyers and immigration officers to potentially strip immigrants of their citizenship under suspicion of lying to immigration officials during the naturalization process.
Also, Trump’s anti-immigrant adviser, Stephen Miller, is spearheading changes to public programs that would prevent immigrants from obtaining green cards for using services that help struggling families survive.
And, the Trump administration is throwing a wrench into the refugee admission process and is on track to limit the total number of refugees admitted by as much as 85 percent, as compared with levels under Obama and Bush.
America’s immigrants are under attack from all angles, infringing on the stability and success of our communities as a whole. The only ones who benefit from these policies are anti-immigrant crusaders who will go as far as undermining our livelihood and economy to fulfill their xenophobic agendas.