FROM THE CITY HALL by Mayor Rudy Giuliani
- When We Futher Immigration, We Strengthen the City for Everyone
New York City owes more to the energy, creativity, and spirit of immigrants than any other city in the country – and probable the world. Throughout our history, the city has been repeatedly redefined and reinvigorated by the hard work and ideas of immigrants.
With religious beliefs, background, and professional aspirations as varied as their countries of origin, immigrants continue to arrive in our city with the basic desire to build a better life for themselves and their children. They share a fundamental adherence to the principle of responsibility and opportunity that have made America great.
Immigrants are assets, not liabilities, to our economy, our culture and our society. A major study released last month by the National Immigration Forum and the Cato Institute reports that over the course of a lifetime a typical immigrant and his or her children pay at least $80,000 more in taxes than they will collect in local, state and federal government benefits. Last year alone, immigrants paid roughly $133 billion in total taxes.
These are the kinds of facts that we’ve urged our federal legislators to understand over the last two years. And our city’s advocacy has been a success. Many – although not all – of the unfair provisions of the federal anti-immigrant legislation passed by the Congress and signed by President Clinton in 1996 have been amended, and benefits appropriately restored to the legal immigrants who deserve them. But we still face more challenges, and the best way to address them is through action.
On August 3nd, I urged every qualified immigrant to apply for the annual federal Visa Lottery. This year, the lottery will give 50,000 immigrants nationwide the opportunity to become permanent residents. The U.S. State Department will accept applications only from October 1st, 1998 through October 31st, 1998. And although being randomly selected in the Visa Lottery does not guarantee immigrants a permanent resident visa, it makes the prospective green card candidate eligible to apply for a permanent resident visa immediately.
The Visa Lottery is an important part of this country’s immigrant tradition. It’s a free, easy, and fair process. Unfortunately, some individuals also see the lottery as a chance to prey on immigrants who are willing to sacrifice everything to achieve the American dream. That’s why our Department of Consumer Affairs and the Mayor’s Office of Immigrants Affairs are conducting an outreach campaign to provide our immigrants with accurate information about the lottery process.
It’s simple procedure, and in the end, another way to strengthen the process of immigration, which is the lifeblood of America’s past. If you have question, don’t hesitate to call the Department of Consumer Affairs at (212) 487-4444
This article is published by the weekly newspaper Haiti-Observateur, edition of August 26, 1998, P.7 vol.XXIX no.35, at : http://s-dd.ca/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/H-O-26-sept-1998p7.pdf