Commentary: State Should Do More For Immigrants

November 13, 2017. In this op-ed by Karthick Ramakrishnan, he argues that New York is behind California, Connecticut, Illinois, and Washington, in regards to immigration policies that protect immigrants and help economic growth. He goes on to argue that Governor Cuomo, who is seeking his third term, has a weak immigration record and if he plans to run in the 2020 presidential election, he needs to change that in order to win votes. Ramakrishnan argues that Governor Cuomo could enact many of the proposed policies that the New York Immigration Coalition has outlined in their blueprint for New York State, such as driver’s licenses for undocumented immigrants, to not only protect immigrants but help the economy flourish.

In the past two decades, however, New York has slipped considerably behind peers like California, Illinois, and Washington when it comes to policies that protect immigrants and advance the state’s economic interests. If Cuomo is to be seen as a national leader, he must step up and champion policies that protect immigrants and their contributions to the state’s economy and American society.

These immigrant-friendly policies proposed by the New York Immigrant Coalition would bolster the state’s economy, which is especially significant in the context of a federal administration committed to cutting state funds for a variety of social services. For example, the Fiscal Policy Institute estimates that driver’s license legislation alone would result in $57 million in annual government revenues, plus $26 million in one-time revenues.

Here is the link to The Times Union.