Immigration has drastically changed in the past few months. Donald Trump has done several things that have and will continue to change New York Immigration. To help you prepare for some of these changes, here’s a look at how Trump’s actions will affect immigration in New York and what that means for you.
New York as a Melting Pot
Immigrants built the US, and New York is no exception. In fact, New York has a record number of immigrants. More than 37% of the city’s residents were born on foreign soil and over 3 million immigrants call the city home. Immigrants in the city come from all over the world; there’s no dominant ethnic group.
Many of those immigrants are legal. However, some are not. In the US, 2.5 million illegal immigrants live in the cities of New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago. Approximately 20% of all illegal immigrants live near New York City or Los Angeles. New York is a city of immigrants, both legal and illegal. Although there’s no certain number, it’s likely that New York City is home to half a million undocumented immigrants.
Being a Sanctuary City
But the city is more than just a melting pot. New York is a sanctuary city. If an officer catches an undocumented immigrant committing a minor crime, the officer will not deport them. These crimes include convictions like going through a stop sign or being in possession of marijuana. Violent crimes are the exception.
Although Trump threatened to cut funding to sanctuary cities, the Mayor of New York does not plan to change anything. If Trump follows through with his threat, New York City stands to lose hundreds of millions of dollars in federal funding.
What Policies Affect New York Immigration?
Trump has enacted several policies that directly impact immigration in New York. The crackdown on illegal immigration has led to raids all across the country. The raids also took place in New York and led to the deportation of over 40 undocumented immigrants. There are likely to be more raids, and there is a great deal of anxiety and stress in communities.
Another policy affecting New York Immigration is the executive order that bans certain Muslim countries. Trump introduced the order to ban travelers from certain Muslim countries. Those countries included Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. Syrian refugees were also banned by the executive order. Potential immigrants and tourists from those countries would be prohibited from entering the country with the order. When the order was signed, many visitors were sent back home upon their arrival to the US, and many more were not allowed to board flights into the country.
The order was challenged, and soon, the Department of Homeland Security stopped enforcing the ban. However, the damage was done. Countries throughout the world were outraged by the ban. The US saw an immediate drop in tourism. For both business and pleasure. In fact, since Trump’s inauguration, tourism is down about $185 million. Popular booking site Kayak.com stated that tourism from the UK to the US has “fallen of a cliff.”
Undaunted, Trump has announced that he will be reissuing the travel ban, although Iraq will not be included on the list of countries on it. With such a strong reaction to the first ban, people may not react well to this second attempt
How Does This Affect New York?
The actions against illegal immigrants can change things in the city. It’s likely that the number of illegal immigrants has decreased. Considering that about 25% of them work in construction, it may become hard to fill that void. Illegal immigrants are often underpaid and don’t receive benefits, and many citizens are unwilling to work under those same conditions.
The Muslim ban has also changed things. New York’s population is about 3% Muslim. In a 2008 study, about 10% percent of New York City public-school children were Muslim. An overwhelming majority of Muslims attended public schools (about 95%). They’re an important part of the city, but the ban has left many Muslims feeling unwelcome and in danger. If the ban gets reinstated, there will almost certainly be a significant drop in Muslim immigration to the US. New York’s Muslim communities might dwindle in numbers.
If this strong anti-immigration stance continues, there may be economic fallout. Over 70% of the restaurant industry in New York are immigrants. Losing them would change things. At least, that much was made clear by that “Day Without Immigrants” strike. All across the US, immigrants were on strike. Many businesses closed their doors, and many workers stayed home. In New York, the strike made a difference. Yemeni immigrants shut down over 100 bodegas throughout the city. Other businesses throughout the city closed. Parents also involved their children; tens of thousands of students skipped school, showing solidarity.
What Else Can You Expect?
New York immigration is going through a major change, and it’s impossible to predict what will happen. But you can prepare yourself for any of those changes with an immigration lawyer.