Influential Business Group Takes Out Full-Page Ad Supporting Immigrants

The recent wave of vitriolic rhetoric from some presidential candidates supporting mass deportations and tighter visa restrictions has left millions of foreign nationals who live and work in the United States, along with those who aspire to do so, understandably on edge. Many are frightened and wonder if their friends, neighbors, and employers still welcome them in this melting pot of a nation. But a group of prominent New York City business leaders have proudly declared their support for immigrants by taking out a full-page ad in the venerated New York Times, applauding the city’s history of diversity.

The ad was placed by the Partnership for New York City, a nonprofit membership organization made up of more than 300 high-ranking executives from the city’s top investment, corporate, and entrepreneurial firms. The ad features the number “3,160, 471” in large block type, with text below that reads “That’s the number of New Yorkers who came to our city from another country. Regardless of their place of origin or religious affiliation, we welcome their contributions to the strength and vitality of their city. Just as we have since 1768.”

Kathyrn Wylde, president of the Partnership, said the ad was designed to be a counterpoint to the conservative immigration policies favored by some of the front-running presidential candidates. She noted in an interview with the New York Times that the idea for the ad originated with a group member who “felt that the business community should stand up for New York being a diverse, open city.” She and the other members of the Partnership hope that the ad will “respond to the climate of fear in the country that some of candidates are tapping into.” [See New York Business Leader’s Full Page Ad Praises City’s Immigrants, by Maggie Haberman, The New York Times, 10.Dec.2015.]

With some popular presidential candidates running on platforms that encourage fear and hostility towards the hardworking, talented immigrants who have helped to build our nation, we need organizations that are willing to use their power and influence to counteract this dangerous rhetoric. The Partnership for New York City has just made a bold statement in support of immigrants, and hopefully more groups will follow their lead as election season continues.


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