Report: Immigrants have major impact on LI's economy

A new study shows that the impact immigrants are having on Long Island's economy is growing, along with the area's foreign-born population.

According to a report by the Fiscal Policy Institute, immigrants account for 17 percent of Long Island's economy, despite making up only 16 percent of the population.

"When you say 'Immigrants,' what pops in people's heads is the day laborer on the corner looking for work," says Louis Valenzuela, of the Long Island Immigrant Alliance. "That group is less than 1 percent, even less than a half of a percent."

The report states that half of immigrants on the Island work in white-collar jobs earning more than $80,000 a year. The study also says nearly a quarter of local small businesses are owned by immigrants, and only one in five immigrants is undocumented.

"They are paying taxes, they're contributing in any number of ways," Valenzuela says. Fiscal Policy Institute's Immigration Research Initiative

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