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Archive for the ‘Economy’ Category

Are Latinos Saving Nebraska’s Economy?

Dan Mulhall owns a plant nursery and landscaping firm. He employs about 200 seasonal employees, who usually work for nine months a year. Mulhall says he’s tried to comply with immigration law, applying for temporary work visas for his workers. But the visas run out quickly and it’s hard to find all the workers he needs among Nebraska’s residents. So two years ago, an immigration audit found more than forty of his workers were not authorized to work in the US and he had to fire them. The workers went to work for a local competitor.

“I won’t begrudge the guys or gals for doing that,” says Mulhall. “I’m glad they didn’t have to leave. It’s just the system doesn’t make sense to us, it doesn’t work.”

Nebraska’s Latino population has increased rapidly in the past two decades. There are not near 200,000 Latinos, roughly more than ten percent the total state population. Most of the growth comes from native-born Latinos, but also from immigration from other US states.

“Nebraska is a state that desperately loses population,” says Lourdes Gouveia, a sociologist at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. “If it was not for immigration it would’ve lost population the last two censuses.”

Like other studies on immigration economics in the United States, several studies from the University of Nebraska show that Latino immigration has had a positive impact on the state’s economy. “The data is incontrovertible: immigrants contribute two and a half billion plus a year to production to the state,” says Goveia. “They generate nearly 20,000 jobs and they pay taxes a little above of what they receive in benefits.” The studies, however, do not distinguish between documented and undocumented immigrants.

A big example of the Latino immigrants’ impact on the economy is the state’s meatpacking industry. During the 1970s, the sector’s unions were busted. The wages plummeted, the benefits and pensions disappeared and the jobs stopped being attractive to locals. So in the 1980s, industry leaders revamped the sector, moving factories to the countryside into towns like Fremont and Lexington in Nebraska. To find the new workforce, they turned to Latino immigrants in California, Texas, and soon they even moved south of the border.

The industry’s new reality is that the cattlemen and meatpacking factory owners would struggle to fill the jobs without the new Latino workforce. 

Opponents of immigration turn to the Federation for American Immigration Reform – FAIR – for numbers against immigration. FAIR believes this incoming undocumented immigrant workforce is actually hurting the state’s economy, and that it’s the cause of declining wages and the quality of jobs. Their studies say that business owners pocket the profits while American taxpayers are left to pick up the check for healthcare and school for the incoming undocumented Latino immigrants.  

“What we are doing is creating a subsidized labor pool for a lot of industries,” says Ira Mehlman, FAIR spokesperson. “These are not mom and pop shops. And it’s another form of subsidy.”

FAIR advocates for a return to high-paying jobs in sectors of the economy. And they want reforms and law enforcement that will make undocumented workers leave on their own. “If you make it clear to people that even if you can get into the United States illegally, you’re not going to get a job because the government is out there policing the labor force, the jobs are going to dry up,” says Mehlman.

The University of Nebraska’s studies find that the foreign-born workforce in the state put more money in through income, gas and sales taxes than they take in social services. It’s also unlikely that wages will hike in the near future, attracting more of the native-born workforce. But what is certain is that the new immigrant workforce has become vital to many of Nebraska’s key industries.

Even as Nebraska’s Latino population grows, the state will remain predominantly white, even in 2060 when Latinos become 25 percent of the population. Lourdes Goveia says that the new Latino workforce is the new reality of the state, and that the immigrants have become an easy target for political electioneering from outside the state.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images 

The U.S. Auto Sector Went South…To Mexico

There are many reasons why immigration from Mexico to the U.S. has come to a virtual standstill. A slow U.S. economy, an increase in border security, and the passage of “show me your papers” laws in many states. But another reason that might not be so obvious is that right now, Mexico’s economy is booming.

Last year, it grew by 4 percent, four times the rate of Brazil’s economy. Reporter Marlon Bishop explains that a lot of the growth is due to high-tech manufacturing.

contributors1

Marlon Bishop_new headshotMarlon Bishop is a radio producer, writer, and reporter based in New York. His work is focused on music, Latin America, New York City and the arts. He is a frequent contributor to WNYC, Studio 360, The World, Latino USA and MTV Iggy. He is an Associate Producer for Afropop Worldwide.

This Week’s Captions: LIVE IN SACRAMENTO

THIS WEEK’S SHOW:

Latino USA is on the road and brings you this week’s show live from Sacramento. Host Maria Hinojosa interviews Californians about art and activism, writing and radio, and how the growth of California’s Latino population may indicate how the rest of the country adapts as Latinos become the largest minority.

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.

California as a Crystal Ball

California is demographically ahead of the curve: its Latino population has outpaced that of the rest of the country. So how have the institutions and culture adapted? Maria Hinojosa asks Kimberly Nalder of the Project for an Informed Electorate and Belinda Reyes of the Cesar Chavez Institute, and takes a few audience questions.

Photo courtesy of freestock.ca.

B2_Kimberly NadlerKimberly Nalder is the director of the Project for an Informed Electorate and associate professor in the Department of Government at California State University Sacramento.

 

 

B2_ belinda reyes

Formerly a research fellow at the Public Policy Institute of California, Belinda Reyes is an authority on immigration policy and the social and economic progress of racial and ethnic groups in the United States and director of the Cesar Chavez Institute at San Francisco State University.

This Week’s Captions: LA LUCHA

THIS WEEK’S SHOW:

This edition of Latino USA is all about “la lucha”-the fight or struggle-from the ongoing efforts of business leaders and activists to reform immigration policy to songwriter Robi Draco Rosa’s fight against cancer. Also: fights on cable news, one Spanish-language newspaper that’s fought for a hundred years for Latinos, a small town’s struggle for clean water, and words of wisdom from a Mexican wrestler.

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.

Immigration And Tech

It’s not just Latinos who are hoping the government shutdown ends and Congress can get back to work on immigration reform. The business community, and in particular the tech sector, wants to see legislation too. Brad Smith, Microsoft’s general counsel and executive vice president, talks with Maria Hinojosa about why he cares about immigration reform. He discusses how essential immigrant workers are for the tech sector, and the American economy as a whole.

Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons

And check out the extended interview here:

smith_printBrad Smith is Microsoft’s general counsel and executive vice president, Legal and Corporate Affairs. He joined Microsoft in 1993, and before becoming general counsel in 2002 he spent three years leading the LCA team in Europe, then five years serving as the deputy general counsel responsible for LCA’s teams outside the United States. He has played a leadership role locally and nationally on numerous charitable, diversity, business and legal initiatives. He recently was named by the National Law Journal as one of the 100 most influential lawyers in the United States.

 

This Week’s Captions: BUEN PROVECHO!

THIS WEEK’S SHOW:

Latino USA delves into issues of food this week. We’ll take a look at the consequences of cuts to food stamps. We’ll express our love for plantains, tortillas, and breakfast tacos. We’ll hear from an undocumented Bay Area family that makes hundreds of tamales per week, get some reflection on food and health from performance artist Robert Karimi, and celebrate the Mexican heritage of huitlacoche. And Pauline Campos of Latina magazine joins Latino USA producer Brenda Salinas to dispense some advice.

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.

Food Stamp Fight

This November 1st, Americans receiving food stamps will have a little less to eat. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, was expanded during the recession as part of the 2009 Stimulus Package. Food stamp enrollment in the US has doubled between 2007 and now, from 26 million to 48 million people. But on November 1st, this expansion is set to expire, and millions of Americans will see their benefits reduced. Meanwhile, Congress is considering further cuts to the program. Producer Diana Montaño talks to New Yorkers to see how these cuts will affect them.

Photo by Latino USA

 
contributors1

Diana HeadshotDiana Montaño is a Mexico City-born, East Coast-raised producer for Latino USA. Before coming on board, she worked as an editor at the Phnom Penh Post in Cambodia and as an associate producer with Radio Bilingüe in California. Diana has also taught video production to immigrant and refugee youth in Oakland, and to young indigenous women in the highlands of Chiapas, Mexico. She is a graduate of the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism

This Week’s Captions: DECISIONS, DECISIONS AT THE SUPREME COURT

THIS WEEK’S SHOW:

This week, the U.S. Supreme Court decides on crucial cases for Latinos.

For “News or Noise?” we talk about unpaid internships and their effects on journalism. Then, visit a dual language program in Florida, the state where bilingual education began. Finally, ten years after the U.S Navy ceased its practice range bombings in Vieques, artists get together to raise money for a radio station that will help Viequenses cope with new challenges.

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.

News or Noise? The Intern Edition

Interns are challenging their unpaid status in court. In recent one federal case, courts ruled in their favor, saying they should have been paid for their work. Maria Hinojosa discusses the case and its coverage with journalist and media critic Farai Chidey and Latino USA summer intern Hanna Guerrero.

Image courtesy of

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head_shot_lasloFarai Chideya has combined media, technology, and socio-political analysis during her 20-year career as an award-winning author and journalist. She is a Distinguished Writer in Residence at New York University’s Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute

 

head_shot_lasloHanna Guerrero is a journalism student at DePaul University. She is a summer intern at Latino USA.

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