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Letter: Glaring Difference Between Legal and Illegal Immigrants

(Editor’s note: This letter to the editor is in response to the column “From Long Island Wins” by Maryann Sinclair titled One Set of Facts, One Unavoidable Conclusion that appeared in the Farmingdale Observer on Friday, Nov. 18.)

There is a glaring and important difference between legal immigrants who have established themselves properly and within the confines of the law here in the United States, and illegal immigrants. To mix the two into one study was clearly done with intent to fog the issue of illegal immigrants in our towns and villages. This distinction is clearly important, but seemingly not so for Long Island Wins latest opinion piece.

Here are the facts that were not stated loudly and clearly in Maryann Sinclair’s article espousing the contributions of immigrants on Long Island. The immigrants cited in this study were a deliberate mixture of both legal and illegal immigrants. This skewed study purposely includes illegal immigrants in a clear effort to fudge the distinction between the two groups of immigrants.

The cited source report for Long Island Wins “conclusion,” was a study conducted by the Fiscal Policy Institute, entitled New Americans on Long Island, a Vital Sixth of the Economy. Missing from Long Island Wins latest propaganda piece is one crucial detail.  The Fiscal Policy Institute report and results, were in fact funded, and financed in part, by a cash grant from the Horace Hagedorn Foundation, the very same Horace Hagedorn Foundation that has, and continues, to fund Long Island Wins to the tune of over one million dollars to date. Long Island Wins receives these grants to help sway the negative public opinion about illegal aliens/immigrants. An irrefutable fact never stated by Long Island Wins.

This unmentioned fact, intentionally omitted by Long Island Wins champion for the cause Maryann Sinclair, renders this alleged “impartial study” unreliable, invalid, and unquestionably less than impartial, when it comes to illegal aliens or undocumented immigrants.

The legal immigrants are clearly productive, and half are white-collar workers who own their own homes, with most having a family income of $80,000. Do you know any illegal immigrant making $80,000 a year? Of course not. As you can clearly see this Fiscal Policy Report is not speaking to the alleged contributions of the illegal immigrants. The illegal immigrants don’t hold white-collar jobs, nor do they own their own homes and clearly do not make $80,000 a year.

So let’s re-examine the facts as they truly are. Legal immigrants are law abiding, productive members of American and Long Island society, and three quarters of them own their own homes. The Fiscal Policy Institute’s own report confirms that fact.  However, this same report also indicates that illegal immigrants/aliens, or whatever term you apply to this group, do not add very much to our quality of life here on Long Island. This Ms. Sinclair is the “Unavoidable Conclusion.”  Your own, self-funded source document proves this fact.  Sad isn’t it?

Kevin D. Hassett, Farmingdale Resident