What If...Immigrants stopped coming to New York?

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

This month, the question of immigration is on visitors’ minds. In many ways, New York City is at the forefront of the national debate on immigration. New York is an immigrant city—foreign-born New Yorkers and their children comprise over half the population, and the population continues to grow largely due to the continued influx of new immigrants.

New York is also a “sanctuary city,” meaning that local law enforcement officials do not automatically comply with every federal detention request; specifically, New York police won’t hand over people solely on the basis of their immigration status if they are arrested for minor offenses.

What would happen to the city if immigrants stopped coming to New York, due to an immigration ban, lack of economic opportunity, or other reasons? How would New York change?

Visitors in the gallery asked...

Our panel of experts responded...

The conversation continues! 

Add your thoughts to the discussion by tweeting @museumofcityNY with #whatifMCNY or visit the What If Table to submit your own question in the Future City Lab, part of our signature exhibition New York At Its Core


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