Trump's plan to deport undocumented migrants 'could cost New York $26bn'

City council speaker and Clinton backer, Melissa Mark-Viverito says gross city product would fall by 3%, citing figures from conservative thinktank

Donald Trump’s proposal to deport undocumented immigrants from the US would cost New York City $23-26bn, the city council’s speaker has said.

Deporting undocumented migrants from New York City would result in a 3% drop in the gross city product, said Melissa Mark-Viverito in a speech in Manhattan on Wednesday morning.

“The city’s economy would shrink because of Donald Trump,” said Mark-Viverito, a Democrat and surrogate for Hillary Clinton.

Trump’s deportation plans would cost an estimated $400-600bn nationally, Mark-Viverito said, citing a May report from the conservative thinktank American Action Forum.

Economists from the city council ran calculations of the costs of Trump’s deportation plan and his possible ban on Muslims entering the US “because numbers matter and facts matter”, said Mark-Viverito, speaking at a breakfast hosted by the Association for a Better New York, a foundation made up of businesses and nonprofits focused on NYC.

The city’s economists said that if the cost to the federal government of deporting all the undocumented immigrants was $600bn (the higher end of the American Action Forum’s calculation), 8.2% of that – $49.2bn – would be borne by New York state, because that is the usual proportion of its contribution to tax revenue.

Currently, tens of thousands of undocumented New Yorkers contribute around $793m in state and local taxes, says Mark-Viverito, who was born in Puerto Rico and has long pushed for immigration reform and clemency for undocumented immigrants. Her estimates show that deporting undocumented migrants would see a loss of 340,000 jobs in the city, higher than the number of jobs lost in the 2001 and 2008 recessions.

“The closer we look, the more it becomes apparent that – shockingly – a con man and reality TV personality masquerading as a policymaker would drive New York’s economy into a ditch,” said the speaker.

Trump “has run a campaign based on racism and xenophobia”, said Mark-Viverito.

Working out the cost of Trump’s proposed ban on Muslims is a little more complicated, as the American Community Survey, the data used by the US Census Bureau, does not collect information on religion.

It does, however, collect data about the countries where people are born. New Yorkers born in Muslim-majority countries contribute $14.2bn a year to the city, said Mark-Viverito, using data from the census data and the Bureau of Economic Analysis.

New York City is also the top destination for big-spending Middle Eastern tourists, who spend about twice as much on average as other international visitors. Mark-Viverito said 32,000 Middle Eastern tourists visited in 2014, spending $1.2bn in the city on hotels, food, shopping and Broadway tickets.

The city council has not run estimates of the cost of any of Hillary Clinton’s policies on New York, with Mark-Viverito saying it was “not necessary”.

“She’s not talking about mass roundups or deportations, she’s not talking about banning people of a religious background to this country,” she told reporters after her speech.

“I find it abhorrent what he’s proposing,” said Mark-Vivierito. “We have a responsibility as a legislative body for the city of New York, as we adopt the budget of the city of New York, to figure out what the economic implications would be for any sort of public policies that are being proposed.”

The speaker will campaign at a Clinton event in Philadelphia on Wednesday evening.

The Trump campaign has been contacted for comment but has yet to respond.


Amber Jamieson in New York

The GuardianTramp

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