Why New York City’s Economy Always Needs More Immigrants

May 1 @ 7:51 pm

Does an influx of immigrants strain New York City’s economy, as some people believe? Or does it make the economy stronger? 

Neeraj Kaushal, an economist and Professor of Social Policy at CSSW, was recently on WNYC’s The Brian Lehrer Show discussing the relationship between New York City’s  economy and an increase in the immigrant population. She was joined by journalist Cara Eisenpress. 

Dr. Kaushal is an expert on comparative immigration policy and the author of an acclaimed book, Blaming Immigrants: Nationalism and the Economics of Global Movement (2018, Columbia University Press). The interview demonstrates how critical the study of economics is in understanding social work on the macro level. Some key quotes from Professor Kaushal:

“The economy of New York City is a gateway economy, which means that every year, every month, more and more immigrants get into the economy to rejuvenate it and to make it more agile.”

“[A shortage of immigrants] creates a real dilemma in various sectors where these people can work if they have the skills to work but they’re not able to do those jobs because they’re legally not allowed.”

“I look at people as hands to work, hands to grow, hands to increase productivity. I worry less about mouths to feed or people to provide shelter to.”

Listen to the interview:

How Immigrants Fuel New York City's Economy | The Brian Lehrer Show | WNYC

Data that finds that an overall drop in the number of immigrants coming to New York City is making for a …

A transcript is available here.