In a variation of the classic ditty, “California Here I Come,” the modern version should be “New York City, Here I Come.” Listen to the original here.
According to the Census Bureau, New York’s population hit a record high 8.3 million residents, an increase of 161,564 between April 2010 and July 2012. New York was already the nation’s largest city.
For the first time in six decades, more people moved into New York that left. Ironically, the reverse is true with California which continues to experience flight away from the state.
All five New York boroughs added people: Brooklyn, a 2.4 percent increase; Manhattan, 2.1 percent; Queens 1.9 percent; the Bronx, 1.7 percent and Staten Island, 0.4 percent. Mayor Michael Bloomberg attributed the growth to the city’s quality of life, its low crime rate and record tourism.
Unfortunately, Bloomberg’s analysis doesn’t stand up to scrutiny. A New Yorker's quality of life depends on where he falls in the economic spectrum. For Wall Street lawyers living on Park Avenue, life is indeed grand. But New York has an income disparity equal to that found only in sub-Saharan Africa. And worse, according to the New York Times, income inequality is growing. [Income Data Shows Widening Gap between New York’s Richest and Poorest, by Sam Roberts, September 20, 2012]
As to crime, a more accurate statement would be that it’s declined. Nevertheless, in 2013 through March 10, the City of New York Police Department reported a total of 18,401 murders, robberies, rapes, burglaries and felonious assaults.
Finally, to include tourism as a reason that New York is getting more populated is nonsense. A tourist comes, then returns home—or, better said, should return home.
The largest contributing factor in New York’s soaring population is illegal immigration which not only Bloomberg but his predecessor Rudy Giuliani have actively encouraged. According to Bloomberg New York, a sanctuary city, would collapse without illegal immigration.
Said Bloomberg: “Although [illegal immigrants] broke the law by illegally crossing our borders or over-staying their visas and our businesses broke the law by employing them, our city’s economy would be a shell of itself had they not, and it would collapse if they were deported.”
With a welcoming, roll out the red carpet invitation like Bloomberg’s, no illegal immigrant would hesitate to come to New York and work without fear of deportation. The restaurant industry is a prime example of employers who exploit aliens. As one anonymous executive chef explained: “We always, always hire undocumented workers. It’s not just me; it’s everybody in the industry. First, they are willing to do the work. Second, they are willing to learn. Third, they are not paid as well. It’s an economic decision. It’s less expensive to hire an undocumented person.” [Mexican New Yorkers Are Steady Force in Workplace, by Kirk Semple, New York Times, September 22, 2010]
Aliens work in every major New York industry including payroll jobs like office staff, retail sales supervisors and factory mechanics.
New York represents a classic case of how illegal immigration benefits elites like restaurant owners but imposes significant costs—education, health care and law enforcement among the most obvious—on taxpayers.
Adding another underclass layer to New York isn’t a cause for celebration, as Bloomberg suggests, but rather a sad chapter in how illegal immigration socializes costs but privatizes financial reward.