A new study by the website WalletHub found that New Jersey ranks No. 3 in states where immigration has the most positive economic impact.
The study compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia across four key aspects: immigrant workforce, socioeconomic contribution, brain gain and innovators and international students.
Greek immigrant Fotis Gratisipis tells News 12 New Jersey that he moved to the United States from Greece after the economic crisis there in 2007. He says that he eventually moved to Highland Park and opened up the restaurant Pithari Taverna.
Gratisipis says that adjusting to life in a foreign country came with some challenges.
“The language is hard, you don’t know stuff,” he says.
But he says that the effort has been worth it.
“We have a lot of regular customers that keep coming again and again. They love the Greek food and they give you a little more motivation to do stuff,” Gratisipis says.
New Jersey Department of Economics Chair Tom Prusa says that immigrants are an important part of New Jersey’s economy.
“The fact that New Jersey is viewed as a very desirable place for immigrants to come is a reflection of the quality and open-mindedness of the people of New Jersey and the businesses that are here,” he says.
California and New York ranked above New Jersey, according to the study.
The lowest-ranking states include Idaho, Montana, South Dakota, Wyoming and Mississippi.