Latino USA

Archive for 2013

The Economics of Congressional Immigration Reform

We often about immigration reform in terms of the human cost, the loss of lives, families torn apart, the lack of due process, and the conditions of detention. But what about the money side of the equation?

A report from the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office says immigration reform would actually increase the GDP by tens of billions of dollars each year.

“Every time a new group of immigrants comes in, whether it’s Italians, or Irish, or Mexicans, or Salvadorians, the claim is always the same,” says Walter Ewing, with the American Immigration Council, “’’They’re going to hurt us, they’re going to drive down our wages, they’re going to drain our social services,’ and that ends up not being the case.”

One major point of contention surrounding any proposed reform is a pathway to citizenship. Ewing says granting undocumented workers legal status would give the US economy a much-needed boost.
“Undocumented immigrants would earn more. If you earn more, you spend more, and you invest more, and you save more, and you are more likely to start a business.”
A bigger workforce also translates into greater tax revenue. According to the Congressional Budget Office, it’s enough to reduce the federal deficit by a trillion dollars over the next twenty years.

bpc-immigration-infographic

Infographic courtesy of the Bipartisan Policy Center

How Immigrant Workers Benefit The Economy 

Roel Campos is a former Securities and Exchange Commissioner. He says the best research we have shows immigrant workers not only benefit the economy but also aren’t an economic threat because they don’t steal jobs.

“In fact what happens is that, because, you know, they don’t have the same skill sets that American workers do, they do their own work. They set up their own businesses. They do work that other American workers don’t care to do. They work in the fields, work at restaurants, work at hotels.”

Immigrants also tend to be entrepreneurs. They’re more than twice as likely to start a small business than the native-born population.

Campos says current policy costs the US in potential tax revenues. But the US is also losing out on innovation and creative capital.

“We’re educating phDs and high-level people with masters and PhDs, and then they can’t stay in the US, even if they want to,” says Campos. “So after educating them, we send them away, and go live in other parts of the world that get the benefit of the education that the US provided for.”

Immigrants also make up an astounding number of PhDs in STEM, Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. The National Survey of College Graduates reports that 40% of all PhDs in the sciences, and 60% of PhDs in Engineering, are from people born in other countries.

“If we had a comprehensive immigration bill… that bill would provide for very high skilled individuals coming from other places around the world to do jobs in Silicon Valley, in the East, all over America,” says Campos.

 

Photo by Luke Sharrett/Getty Images 

When A Business is Raided

For some Republicans, the push for immigration reform is about the bottom line and their employees’ welfare. Maria Hinojosa talks to conservative commentator Linda Chavez about ICE raiding her business.

(Photo: Saeed Khan/AFP)

FYR_LindaChavez_t700Linda Chavez is president of the Center for Equal Opportunity, based in Washington, D.C., and a FOX News Channel contributor.

What’s The Deal With Participatory Budgeting?

Participatory budgeting gives local residents direct control over part of the city budget. The project is in its third year in New York City and is expected to be used in up to 22 Council districts, covering more than $20 million.

The way it works is this: local residents, regardless of age or citizenship status, get together to discuss capital needs — infrastructure, buildings or equipment — to improve their neighborhoods. Projects are voted on in community meetings, and then local politicians must spend on those items.

The project was started in Porto Alegre, Brazil, in 1989, and it is currently in use in 1,500 communities around the world. In the U.S., it is used in Chicago, San Francisco, Vallejo, California.

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia commons user Mondo

 


 

B2 melissa mark-viveritoMelissa Mark-Viverito currently serves as a New York City Council Member, representing District 8, which includes El Barrio/East Harlem, Manhattan Valley and Mott Haven. She was born and raised in San Juan, Puerto Rico and attended Columbia College at Columbia University in New York City where she earned her B.A. in Political Science in 1991. Melissa was selected to attend the National Urban Fellows Program and earned her Master of Public Administration from Baruch College, City University of New York in 1995.

Unbanked In The Bay Area

In a national first, Oakland, CA is now offering its residents a groundbreaking new municipal ID card that doubles as a prepaid debit card. Residents can apply for the card regardless of their immigration status.

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Farida-Jhabvala-Romero-reporting-in-Mendota-CA-broccoli-field-150x150Farida is a reporter for Radio Bilingüe, the National Latino Public Radio Network. She regularly covers health and the environment. She also contributes stories on California traditional artists for Radio Bilingüe’s series Raíces: Reportajes sobre Artistas del Pueblo. Prior to joining Radio Bilingüe, Farida worked as a reporter for El Mensajero, a San Francisco weekly, and other publications. She has a bachelor’s degree from Reed College in Portland, Oregon, and currently lives in Alameda, California, with her husband Eric and 2-year old daughter Devika. She can be reached at farida@radiobilingue.org.

 

 

The Cost Of A Quinceañera

A quinceañera, or “sweet fifteen,” can be a glitzy affair with rituals to mark a girl’s transition into womanhood.

MTV Tr3s documented the crossover of the coming-of-age tradition in its series “Quiero Mis Quinces”.

As the Latino population in Las Vegas has grown over the past decade or so, so has the business of quiceañeras. Families might empty their pockets to throw a party, sometimes bigger than a wedding, for their little girls.

 

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Kate Sheehy is a Multimedia Journalist with a focus on documentary style radio reporting covering Immigrant issues and marginalized communities. Sheehy has reported for public radio stations in California, New York, Washington, D.C. and most recently Las Vegas, where she was part of a bilingual reporting team called Fronteras: The Changing America Desk.

Latinos Talk Tech

In 2013, you can’t talk money without talking tech. It isn’t just the industry of the future, it is the industry of now. But despite research that shows that Latinos adopt new technologies at rates equal to, and sometimes higher than, other Americans, Latinos are rarely part of the tech conversation.

We plan on talking to more Latinos in tech, or Techinistas – in 2014, but this week we are speaking to two people who are working hard to get more Latinos involved in the tech sector.

Photo: Frederic J. Brown/AFP


C2_LuzRivasLuz Rivas is the Founder and Executive Director of DIY Girls, a nonprofit organization that develops and implements educational programs and events for girls and women designed to encourage exploration with technology, promote self-confidence and support aspiration to technical careers. Like young girls in the DIY Girls program, Luz is a daughter of Mexican immigrants and grew up in the Pacoima neighborhood of Los Angeles. Luz started her career at Motorola where she was an Electrical Design Engineer working on position and navigation systems for the automotive industry.  For the last 10 years, she has worked on developing out-of school science and engineering education programs and has developed higher education programs focused on recruiting and retaining underrepresented minorities in STEM fields. Luz has a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from MIT and a Masters in Technology in Education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

 

C2_EDWARDAVILA

Edward Avila is a native of San Jose and has worked at high-tech companies in Silicon Valley over the last 20 years as a Human Resources executive. He advised and nurtured talent for emerging businesses within corporations. He has a proven track record in the areas of leadership development, executive coaching, and talent management. In 2010, he co-founded myJoblinx, the industry’s first employee-centric enterprise solution, leveraging both social recruiting and employment branding into a single unique application on Facebook. In 2012, Edward was featured as a ‘Game Changer’ in Hispanic Executive Magazine. He graduated with a Master’s Degree in Organization Development from the University of San Francisco

Dearly Deported: Jordan Edition

Jordanian Abu Firas was deported from the US back in 2003, but hopes one day to return. In our “Dearly Deported” series, he tells us about the life he led in New York and his struggle for work in Amman.

 

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Dale Gavlak 2013 pic

Dale Gavlak is a radio and print journalist who has covered the Middle East for more than 20 years initially from Cairo and now Amman, Jordan.

#1349 – Let’s Talk About Sex

In this week’s show, we focus on how Latinas think about themselves as sexual beings, and the constraints on their decisions about sex and reproduction. We hear from one woman whose decision to end a pregnancy brings up memories of a history of control of women of color’s fertility. We also examine how changes in funding of public health clinics in Texas have affected the choices of tens of thousands of women in the state. And we tell you the stories of some of the nearly two million people who have been deported during the Obama administration.

Photo Courtesy of Spike Walker, via Flickr

This Week’s Captions: Let’s Talk About Sex

THIS WEEK’S SHOW:

In this week’s show, we focus on how Latinas think about themselves as sexual beings, and the constraints on their decisions about sex and reproduction. We hear from one woman whose decision to end a pregnancy brings up memories of a history of control of women of color’s fertility. We also examine how changes in funding of public health clinics in Texas have affected the choices of tens of thousands of women in the state. And we tell you the stories of some of the nearly two million people who have been deported during the Obama administration.

ABOUT CAPTIONING:

Latino USA, the foremost Latino voice in public media and the longest running Latino-focused program on radio, is the first radio program to commence equal-access distribution via Captioning for Radio. “Research has shown that Latino children have a higher incidence of hearing loss and deafness than other populations,” according to Latino USA’s Anchor & Executive Producer Maria Hinojosa. “When the opportunity to break this sound barrier came to our attention, we were pleased to embrace this new technology developed by NPR Labs and Towson University for the thousands of Latinos with serious hearing loss.”

The International Center for Accessible Radio Technology (ICART), a strategic alliance between NPR and Towson University, is co-directed by Mike Starling of NPR and Ellyn Sheffield of Towson University.

For each week’s captioning, check back on http://latinousa.org/captions.

Sex, Young Love and Choice

Beyond the question of abortion, there’s the sad and difficult history of sterilization in the United States. Usually, the victims have been poor, and often they’ve been women of color. Katilin Prest, from the AudioSmut podcast, brings us one woman’s story and a some background on the modern face of the eugenics movement.

For more reading, check out this CIR report on sterilized inmates in California and see the book by Dorothy Roberts, Killing the Black Body.

 

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A1_PrestKaitlin Prest is a radio producer and audio documentary artist interested in sound and intimacy. She is the co-creative director of the Audio Smut podcast, producer and sound designer at the Life of the Law podcast, and co-creative director of New York’s Radio Cabaret.

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