For Immediate Release: July 19, 2019
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Refugees Help Revitalize and Strengthen New York
Vital to Economic Growth in Areas that Need it Most
July 19, 2019. (Albany, NY)- News that the Trump Administration is considering radically reducing refugee resettlement should be a jolt to New York’s political leadership. New York elected officials have shown bipartisan support for the resettlement program as being both the right thing to do and good for New York.
Years of research by the Fiscal Policy Institute (FPI) shows that immigration and refugee resettlement make economic sense for New York State and the nation. Disrupting our ability to welcome newcomers ignores our history as a nation that has grown socially, culturally, and economically through immigration.
Statement from David Dyssegaard Kallick, Deputy Director of the Fiscal Policy Institute:
“Our state has a long and proud history of refugee resettlement that makes local communities and economies stronger and richer. Refugee resettlement agencies and the people they help settle are playing an important role in the revitalization of Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, Utica, and Albany—and refugee settlement and integration are hugely successful in the diverse immigrant communities of New York City and Long Island. There is no possible justification for reneging on the country’s longstanding and bipartisan commitment to refugee resettlement. Refugee resettlement helps refugees, it helps American foreign policy, and in the process, it helps New York, too.”
Facts about refugee resettlement:
- New York is the third most important state for refugee resettlement, after California and Texas.
- Three of New York’s upstate metro areas is in the top 50 metro areas in the country for refugee resettlement: Buffalo (#13), Syracuse (#20), and Rochester (#32).
- A major study of Somali, Burmese, Hmong, and Bosnian refugee communities found that over the long run they learn English, become homeowners, rise in a career ladder, and start businesses.
- Median wage for refugees in these groups increased from about $20,000 for recent arrivals to about $40,000 for those who have been here for more than 10 years.
- Employers have had great success with hiring refugees. Turnover rates are typically half or more the rate for workers overall, according to a study by FPI with the Tent Partnership for Refugees, and helped their overall recruitment.
- Governor Cuomo and the New York State legislature have recognized the importance of refugee resettlement with a $2 million annual investment in the state’s unique program of enhanced services to refugees. The program has been crucial to helping support resettlement efforts and anchor institutions in our communities.
FPI is not alone in finding the positive impact of immigration as evidenced by research from the Urban Institute, Pew Research Center, and the New American Economy.
No matter how people have come to the United States, whether through immigration, refugee resettlement programs, visa programs for skilled workers from farm laborers to high-tech, asylum seekers or to join family members, they have brought their talent, skills and drive to contribute to our country.