The economy of Queens is booming. And it is booming because of immigrants. A recent report by New York State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli puts data to the narrative we see day in and day out across the borough.
In the midst of a troublingly large national sentiment suggesting immigrants are stealing jobs, bringing crime into the country and somehow leading to the decay of the United States of America, the borough of Queens stands out as a shining example of how that narrative is utter crap.
Speaking at a press conference last week, Queens Chamber of Commerce CEO Tom Grech distilled the argument about the successes of immigration down to its simplest form. He said, “We’re too busy buying and selling to each other to argue,” when asked how so many cultures can coexist.
This is the key. Working together and putting aside our differences allows all boats, flying about 190 different flags, to rise as one borough.
Skeptics can surely break down this report and argue that Queens success comes more from the boom in the healthcare sector or the massive investment in the airports. That line of thinking ignores one key fact. Those industries only grow because there is a multi-race and multicultural foundation of entrepreneurs and dedicated citizens crafting the borough into a beautiful melting pot.
More people coming into the borough means more healthcare. It also means more tourism and travel, as many of Queens foreign-born residents come and go to visit relatives or welcome friends and family from their home countries.
And with this prosperity comes safety. Just look at the stats. In Northern Queens, crime is down nearly 20 percent in the past eight years. In the southern part of the borough, it is down more than 22 percent in the same period.
The United States of America is a great country. One of the main reasons it is a great country is because for the better part of more than two centuries we welcomed people from all over the world to our shores and provided them opportunity to survive and eventually thrive.
The borough of Queens continues to make America great by welcoming people of all backgrounds and providing them a chance to make a better life. All Queens residents should be proud.