Archive for the ‘Immigration’ Category

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.

Cheating Carnival Workers

At all-American carnivals, the workers who run rides and attractions are most often immigrants from Mexico and Central America. An estimated 5,000 workers are recruited abroad yearly to run rides and attractions in the United States.

And according to this report from the American University Washington College of Law and Centro de los Derechos del Migrante, many of these workers endure deceptive recruitment practices, high pre-employment fees and costs, wage theft, lack of access to legal and medical assistance, substandard housing and unsafe work conditions.

In a special report in collaboration with the Nation Institute’s Investigative Fund, we examine how these workers were left out of some federal work protections and how some are now claiming their rights.

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John Carlos FreyJohn Carlos Frey is a freelance investigative reporter and documentary filmmaker based in Los Angeles. His investigative work has been featured on the 60 Minutes episode, “The All American Canal;” a three-part series for PBS entitled “Crossing the Line;” and several episodes of Dan Rather Reports, “Angel of the Desert,” and “Operation Streamline.” In 2011 Frey documented the journey of Mexican migrants across the US-Mexico border and walked for days in the Arizona desert risking his own life for the documentary Life and Death on the Border”. John Carlos Frey has also written articles for the Los Angeles Times, the Huffington Post, Salon, Need to Know online, the Washington Monthly, and El Diario (in Spanish). Frey’s documentary films include The Invisible Mexicans of Deer Canyon (2007), The Invisible Chapel (2008), and The 800 Mile Wall (2009). He is the 2012 recipient of the Scripps Howard Award and the Sigma Delta Chi award for his Investigative Fund/PBS reporting on the excessive use of force by the US Border Patrol. He is a fellow at the Nation Institute’s Investigative Fund.

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.

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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.

Why Should Unions Support Immigration Reform?

You might not expect organized labor to advocate for immigration reform. But AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka tells us why he and his unions are making a push for reform to happen, and happen this year.

Photo courtesy of Flickr

Richard-L.Trumka-AFL-CIO-President_mediumRichard Trumka is the president of the AFL-CIO, a national federation of labor organizations.

 

 

Does Immigration Reform Still Have A Pulse?

Is immigration reform alive and well in Congress? Or is it walking dead? Host Maria Hinojosa talks with Bob Naerebout, executive director of the Idaho Dairymen’s Association, about the business and moral reasons he went to Washington to keep reform alive.

 Photo courtesy of Rob Crawley.

Bob-photoBob Naerebout is the executive director of the Idaho Dairymen’s Association.

Trust: Growing And Overcoming Through Theatre

We talk about “TRUST: Second Acts in Young Lives,” a new documentary where a young Latina immigrant works with an Illinois based theater company to create a play from her harrowing true-life story.

“TRUST: Second Acts in Young Lives” aired on PBS WORLD America ReFramed series on October 29, 2013. Watch the full documentary here: TRUST: Second Acts in Young Lives.

B3_NancyKellyNancy Kelly is a director, writer, and producer. She has collaborated with editor and producer Kenji Yamamoto to create a documentary trilogy about the transformative power of art. The trilogy includes: “TRUST: Second Acts in Young Lives” follows a Honduran teen whose real life story of trauma is unveiled in a daring original play performed by immigrant teenage members of Chicago’s Albany Park Theater Project; “Smitten,” examines art collector Rene di Rosa, who is smitten by art; and “Downside Up,” a film about how America’s largest museum of contemporary art, MASS MoCA, revived Kelly’s dying home town.  She also directed and produced the narrative feature “Thousand Pieces of Gold,” starring Rosalind Chao and Chris Cooper, which was developed through the Sundance Institute. Photo courtesy of Amy Braswell.

B3_JesseCarloHeadshotJesse Carlo is a seasoned artist practitioner and scholar with over 20 years of experience in performance, direction, choreography and interdisciplinary arts education. Jesse is currently a faculty member in the Arts & Humanities at Miami Dade College and completing his Ph.D. in Humanities & Culture at Union Institute & University. Jesse is passionate about the ways the arts serve as a linguistic medium that surpasses the cerebral intellectual processes by simultaneously engaging the mind, body and spirit of the arts practitioner and observer. He firmly believes that through the arts we find healing and build solidarity.

B3_MarlinMarlin currently lives in the greater Chicago area. Photo courtesy of Amy Braswell.

The Immigrant Victims Of The Colorado Floods

Echoing the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, floods in Colorado have caused suffering and painful losses for Colorado’s immigrant population. Maria Hinojosa talks with Colorado Public Radio’s Lesley McClurg.

Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons

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McClurgLesley McClurg is a reporter and producer for Colorado Public Radio’s daily interview program, “Colorado Matters.” She came to CPR after getting her start in public radio as a freelance reporter and producer for KUOW in Seattle, Washington. Prior to that, Lesley spent more than three years working in public television in Seattle, reporting on a variety of stories and producing long-form segments for KCTS 9 Public Television.

In addition to her work as a journalist, Lesley also has extensive experience in documentary filmmaking and writing. A seven-time Emmy Award nominee, she won an Emmy Award in 2009 for the documentary, “Green Prison Reform.” Lesley holds a bachelor’s degree in mass communications from Louisiana State University

 

Losing Your Citizenship In The Dominican Republic

In the Dominican Republic, the Constitutional Court has retroactively revoked citizenship from anyone of Haitian descent dating back 84 years. Maria Hinojosa reports on how this change is affecting Dominican-born Haitians, and how the dynamic is playing out among Dominican and Haitian-Americans here in the U.S.

 

Casa Marienella: A Home For Asylum Seekers

An immigrant shelter in Texas offers non-violent asylum seekers a way out of detention.

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BrackenShotAmy Bracken is a Boston-based freelance reporter and radio producer. She’s had stories on PRI’s The World and in The Christian Science Monitor and Boston Globe. Tweet @brackenamy.

Turning Art into Activism: Favianna Rodriguez

You have probably seen her posters at immigrant rights marches around the country, but never knew who the artist was behind the captivating images. Artist, activist, and California native Favianna Rodriguez joins the live show to discuss where the personal meets the intersection of art and activism, and how she sees her own artwork fitting into the fight for immigrant rights. She also talks about how California issues have had a larger impact nationwide.

Below are the images Favianna talks about during her interview:

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A1_faviannaFavianna Rodriguez is a transnational interdisciplinary artist and cultural organizer. Her art and collaborative projects deal with migration, global politics, economic injustice, patriarchy, and interdependence . Rodriguez lectures globally on the power of art, cultural organizing and technology to inspire social change, and leads art workshops at schools around the country. In addition to her fine arts and community work, Rodriguez partners with social movement groups around the world to create art that’s visionary, inspirational, radical and, most importantly, transformational. When Favianna is not making art, she is directing CultureStrike, a national arts organization that engages artists, writers and performers in migrant rights. In 2009, she co-founded Presente.org, a national online organizing network dedicated to the political empowerment of Latino communities.

About Culture/Strike:

CultureStrike began in the summer of 2010 as a petition to honor the boycott of Arizona after that state passed its anti-immigrant law SB 1070. CultureStrike, which includes Wordstrike and Artstrike, seeks to organize artists, writers and other creative workers to strike back against anti-immigrant laws and attitudes. Their work is premised on the belief that culture, as the realm of ideas, images, and stories, is where people make sense of the world, find meaning and forge solidarity.

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.

 

The Cost of Inaction, A Call To Action

While immigration reform is stalled in Congress, over 1,000 people are deported each day. This human cost of inaction from legislators has spurred immigrant advocates to up the ante on the fight for immigrant rights. Latino USA talks with organizers about why – and how- they continue to push for action.

Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons

Jonathan Wolfe contributed reporting to this story.

israelIsrael Rodrigues Rubio is one of 30 DREAMers –undocumented youth brought to the US as children – who crossed the border on September 30th, 2013 as an act of civil disobedience organized by the National Immigrant Youth Alliance. He grew up in Durham, Nort Carolina and is a graduate of Columbia University. Despite all his successes, Israel’s undocumented status limited him in pursuing his dreams. By 2011, being a couple of months away from graduation, Israel settled on leaving for Mexico. In Mexico City, Israel had trouble integrating into a society he barely knew and was surrounded by increasing violence and political instability. In 2013 He decided he wanted to return to his family in the US.

DavidLeopoldDavid Wolfe Leopold is the founder and principal of David Wolfe Leopold & Associates Co. LPA. Mr. Leopold is the past president of the Washington, D.C.-based American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA www.aila.org), the premier bar association of immigration lawyers and professors in the U.S. He has served as AILA’s top liaison to the Department of Homeland Security’s key enforcement bureaus and co-founded the American Immigration Council’s Litigation Institute, a hands-on continuing legal education program focused on federal immigration litigation.

Gabriela Flora1Gabriela Flora is the Regional Project Voice Organizer of the American Friends Service Committee, Colorado. The organization is part of the Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition, which succeeded in its fight to repeal SB-90, Colorado’s copycat Arizona-style show-me-your-papers law in 2012. In 2013 the Coalition had another victory – the approval of a law allowing for undocumented immigrants to access drivers’ licenses.

Pablo AlvaradoPablo Alvarado is an immigrant worker from El Salvador. In 2002, Alvarado became the national coordinator of the newly created National Day Laborer Organizing Network (NDLON), currently a collaboration of about three dozen community-based day laborer organizations. Under his guidance, NDLON works with local governments to help establish worker centers to move job seekers into places of safety.

 

 

 

 

Homemade Oakland Tamales

Carolina Santos and her mother, Rosa Oliva, make tamales, tacos, and all sorts of other food for office workers and other clients, who are usually in San Francisco. But in West Oakland, California, where they live, the corner stores that exist offer little of the fresh produce they have access to in the food business. Maria Hinojosa spends a day with them and brings us her report.

And click below to listen to Rosa Oliva share her recipe for mole Oaxaqueño, en español:

Deported Vets

Serving in the military can help immigrants gain U.S. citizenship. But vets who commit crimes may find themselves deported despite their service to the country. Latino USA speaks with a vet awaiting deportation and with filmmaker John Valadez, currently working on a documentary highlighting the cases of veterans who have been deported.

Photo courtesy Flickr

C1deportedvets_headshot_JohnValadezJohn Valadez is an award-winning director who has been producing documentaries for PBS for the last X years. He has been a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellow, A Rockefeller Fellow and is a founding member of the New York Chapter of the National Association of Latino Independent Producers. He has worked on projects for Carleton UK Television, Frontline, American Masters, CBC, TLC and HBO.

 

 

 

 

C1DeportedVets_headshot_CraigShaginCraig Shagin is a lawyer in private practice in Pennsylvania, where egis firm is active in immigration law. He is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association. He has authored numerous articles and books on various aspects of immigration law, including “Deporting Private Ryan: The Less Than Honorable Condition of the Non-Citizen in the United States Armed Forces.”

 

 

 

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