Opinion: Why New York Still Welcomes Immigrants

The Wall Street Journal
July 27, 2012

Many states across the U.S. have passed restrictive immigration measures in recent years. But New York under Gov. Andrew Cuomo is bucking the trend.

“We are a state of immigrants,” he declared in his 2012 State of the State address. “While other states build walls to keep people out, we open our arms and we invite people in.” The Empire State is in this regard a lot like Australia, which is notable among developed nations for actively recruiting immigrants.

Comparing New York to the land down under may seem odd at first glance. But if New York were a country, its 2010 gross domestic product of $1.13 trillion would be very close to the $1.24 trillion Australian GDP. New York’s population of 19.4 million is also comparable to Australia’s 22 million people. New York’s foreign-born population is 4.3 million, or 22.2% of total population; Australia has 4.7 million immigrants, or 21.9% of its population. If New York were a country, the size of its immigrant population would rank 13th in the world, after Australia in 11th place.

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