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America is a nation of immigrants. We are a country where people have come seeking freedom and a better life. In spite of the fact that America is over 200 years old, most people can trace their heritage to countries around the world from which they immigrated.
Illegal immigrants have been shown to be driving our economy. Fundamental to the U.S. economy and our society is the participation of immigrants in industries including food services, hospitality industries, construction, agriculture, elder care, and manufacturing. Here are five major ways that illegal immigrants drive the essential economy:
1. Immigrants play a critical role in supporting the food service and hospitality industries by meeting labor market demand and creating jobs as small-business owners.
2. Immigrants are supporting growth of the construction industry-a key measure of how well the economy is bouncing back from the Great Recession.
3. With demand for produce at an all-time high, agriculture workers-nearly three-fourths of whom are foreign-born-are essential to getting food from our farms to our supermarkets.
4. With a rapidly aging U.S. population, immigrants help to meet the increasing demand for home health aids and assisted living for seniors.
5. Immigrants play a critical role in the manufacturing industry, keeping middle-class jobs in the U.S. and helping to revitalize declining economies across the country.
Illegal immigrants are glad to have any job. Most Americans don’t want to work in fields, picking crops. When Americans complain that there are no jobs, they mean that there are no jobs that they want.
Most Americans appreciate the need for low-skilled labor. More significantly 78% of Americans have a favorable view of Legal Immigration. Scott Walker disagrees. His brilliant idea to boost Americans’ job prospects is to admit fewer LEGAL Immigrants. Even conservatives had a hard time defending that position.
Here are the facts.
• The United States has been letting in about 1 million new immigrants per year.
• The Census Bureau estimates there are now 43.3 million foreign-born residents in the United States.
• Within 10 years immigrants will account for 15 percent of the population.
• Community colleges enroll almost half of all U.S. undergraduates, or 6.5 million students, and one-quarter (24%) of these students come from an immigrant background.
• As of 2008, there were 38.0 million immigrants or foreign born in the United States, comprising 12.5 % of the total US population.
• Immigration has been a constant source of economic vitality and demographic dynamism throughout our nation’s history. Immigrants are taxpayers, entrepreneurs, job creators, and consumers.
“The countries of origin of today’s immigrants are more diverse than they were 50 years ago. In 1960, a full 75 percent of the foreign-born population that resided in the United States came from Europe, while in 2012, only 11.8 percent of the immigrant population emigrated from Europe. In 2012, 11.6 million foreign-born residents—28 percent of the foreign-born population—came from Mexico; 2.3 million immigrants came from China; 2 million came from India; 1.9 million came from the Philippines; 1.3 million came from both Vietnam and El Salvador; and 1.1 million came from both Cuba and Korea.”
Experts predict that the United States will face a SHORTAGE of 5 million workers in 2020. Researchers say the postsecondary education system can’t keep pace with projected job growth. Projections indicate that over the next several years 55 million jobs will be available, but the majority of those jobs will require some sort of education and training after high school. Many of those jobs could be filled with community college graduates, but not high school graduates. In industries like information technology and government, 80% will require post high school education.
Clearly the future of American economic security is dependent on educating our workers. Foreign student enrollment at U.S. universities reached an all-time high in the 2012-2013 school year. Nearly 820,000 students came to the U.S. to study, mostly from China, India, South Korea, Canada and Saudi Arabia. Foreign students contributed $24 billion to the U.S. economy during the 2012-2013 school year. Yet remaining in the country after graduation may be harder than it has ever been, largely because of the current U.S. immigration system
Thus instead of working to increase the pool of educated, trained workers necessary to sustain the American economy, we are training these students and sending them home to compete against us. The very job creators are being sent to countries where they will create jobs for foreign workers instead of American workers. In 2014 30% of companies in America sited a lack of qualified workers as a major barrier to growth. Science, technology, engineering and math are the areas that employers have the most difficulty finding qualified applicants. http://blogs.wsj.com/cfo/2014/02/04/lack-of-skilled-workers-hinders-hiring-by-private-firms/
The most ironic state of affairs is that Scott Walker, the Governor of Wisconsin, the proponent of limiting legal immigration, should be painfully aware of the need for educated immigrants to stay in this country. Wisconsin has a contest known as the Governor’s Business Plan Contest.
“The mission of the Governor’s Business Plan Contest is to encourage entrepreneurs in the seed, startup and early growth stages of high-tech businesses in Wisconsin. The contest links up-and-coming entrepreneurs with a statewide network of community resources, expert advice, high-quality education, management talent and possible sources of capital.”
“Ankit Agarwal is a two-time finalist in this Wisconsin Governor’s contest. He is a biochemical engineer whose work promises to help doctors treat patients with slow-to-heal skin wounds. He’s even started a Madison-based company, Imbed Biosciences, to commercialize his discoveries. We tried to send him back to India after this post-doctoral researcher at UW-Madison developed a way to limit infection rates in skin wounds. He had to fight to get a visa to allow him to remain in America. His story was featured in a June 2012 report by the Partnership for a New American Economy, a bipartisan group that is sounding the alarm because immigration laws prevent the best and brightest foreign-born students from staying in the United States. While Agarwal eventually received an “extraordinary ability” visa from the federal government, which is a specialized green card, it was not before paying about $12,000 in application and legal fees. The wait itself threatened his ability to stay in Wisconsin and the United States, even though he’s precisely the kind of immigrant the nation should want to attract. Similar roadblocks are thrown up tens of thousands of times each year in the United States, which annually graduates nearly 40,000 foreign-born students with master’s or doctoral degrees in science, technology, engineering and math. Eric Schmidt, the former CEO and chairman of Google, summarized it best when he said: “Of all the crazy rules in our government, the craziest bar none is that we take the smartest people in the world, we bring them to America, we give then Ph.D.s in technical science, and we kick them out to go found great companies outside of America. This is madness.” It is madness that directly affects the American economy, which has historically depended on immigrants for labor – from manual to intellectual – and as a source of entrepreneurism.Immigrants founded Google, Intel, eBay, Sun Microsystems, Yahoo!, Hotmail, PayPal, U.S. Steel, Dow Chemical, DuPont, Pfizer and Procter and Gamble, to name a few examples. One quarter of American Nobel Prize winners since 1901 and 40 percent of the Ph.D scientists working today in the United States are foreign-born.”
It is undisputed that the national debt is the single greatest threat to the future of America. It is also undisputed that the most painless way to manage the national debt is to increase the GDP of the country. If we bolster the economy by retaining these American-educated scientists, we significantly improve our chances of creating jobs, filling jobs that require more educated workers, and thereby reducing our national debt. Scott Walker wants to do the opposite. As the Governor of Wisconsin he should be painfully aware of this problem. Either he is consciously ignoring the problem for political reasons, or he is an agent of a foreign country. Either way, we can ill afford to elect him as our next President.
Even before he announces his decision to run, his commitment to hypocrisy and government cover-up is astounding. Walker’s political action committee, Our American Revival, touted Wisconsin’s “strong” open records law in its attacks on Hillary. A spokeswoman for the PAC said: “Hillary Clinton’s potential evasion of laws is something she should answer questions about...Wisconsin has a strong open records law with a broad presumption of access to records and the governor has very specific policies in place in his office to assure that the laws are complied with fully.”
The only problem is that Scott Walker is trying to ensure that government records, and his in particular, are hidden from public scrutiny. The Governor’s office was directly involved in drafting a proposed law that would have restricted public access to information regarding the functioning of government. Walker’s office already operated as if the proposed changes to the open records law in Wisconsin had already been made. Two months ago, Walker declined to release records related to his proposal to change the University of Wisconsin mission statement because, his office claimed, it was part of his office’s internal deliberations. The open records law was also used to scrutinize the performance of a job creation agency he championed.
In Wisconsin, a broad and bipartisan spectrum of lawmakers, public officials and advocacy groups blasted the proposed changes to the state’s open records law. They were concerned that the new law would lead to a secretive government, hidden from public oversight. “I will not support a budget that includes this assault on democracy,” state Sen. Robert Cowles (R-Green Bay) said in a statement Friday. Cowles said he was “shocked and appalled to see the attack on open and transparent government.”
In response to the widespread criticism, Gov. Scott Walker and Republican leaders indicated Friday that they would back off the proposal, but wouldn’t specify how or to what degree.
Isn’t it amazing that Walker is now in favor of less transparency at a time that people are more concerned than ever about his background and record?!
The Iron Dog this year was characterized by snowmobiles sitting in the dirt. However Sarah Palin is sure that it has nothing to do with global warming.
For years we’ve known Sarah as the defeated “undefeated” candidate. Todd joins her as an undefeated defeated Iron Dog champion. Sarah posted a note of congratulations on facebook. In case she failed to notice, Todd came in 10th place. His time was 10 hours behind the winner.
He didn’t come in 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, or 9th.
Todd hasn’t won the Iron Dog since 2007. That’s EIGHT YEARS. That was before Sarah became the Undefeated Vice Presidential Candidate. Yet people still call him the Iron Dog Champion. Sarah hasn’t been the Governor of Alaska since 2009, but people still call her “Governor.” Bristol hasn’t been pregnant since…I don’t know when. Why don’t they still call her pregnant? Willow hasn’t vandalized a house since 2010. Why don’t they still call her a delinquent? Tripp hasn’t attended a family brawl for weeks. Why don’t they still call him the fighter?
When I was 13 years old I won a blue ribbon in the Tulsa State Fair for a cherry pie I made. Maybe I should be known today as the “champion pastry chef.”
In a rambling, stream of consciousness, illogical, and unscripted presentation, Sarah Palin offers comments regarding term limits.
At the outset, realize that what you are watching is a presentation from the Sarah Palin Channel, that you didn’t pay for, but some misdirected soul did. Clearly the segment was planned as the producers had a graphic of the question prepared to appear on the screen regarding the question being asked of Sarah Palin. However it appears Palin gave no thought in advance to her answer, and surely did no research on this issue.
While the presentation is incoherent and garbled, Palin does state that she opposes term limits. Her explanation of the position is that some of the people she supports are “good” politicians and thus it would be fine for them to stay in office as long as possible. There is no thought or discussion of the policy behind term limits. It never occurred to Sarah that her arch enemy, Barack Obama, will be leaving office, not because he lost an election but because of term limits on the Presidency.
Perhaps it isn’t surprising that Palin can’t support term limits since she recently served pancakes with the elderly Senator from Kansas.
Senator Roberts was reelected to the Senate at 78 years old, after serving in Congress 47 years. He isn’t the oldest Senator yet, but now that he’s been re-elected he will be the oldest Senator in Congress by the end of his term, if he lives that long.
It is particularly hypocritical for Palin to oppose term limits, and support candidates like Roberts, when she is known for speaking out against “crony capitalism,” “the Washington elite”, and exclaiming that the “status quo has got to go.”
Sarah Palin is the epitome of all that is wrong with politics in America. She isn’t even a politician any more, but she no longer advocates limiting the influence and power of corrupt politicians, because they can now help her. Someone like Ted Cruz is an example of a person Palin would like to stay in office, permanently, because she has influence with him. We know Sarah is corrupt.
Any politician that is supportive of her and her corrupt ways is a politician she’d like to see stay in office.
The corruption in American politics is epidemic. It doesn’t even make headline news when another politician is indicted. Just in the last week Representative Michael Grimm in New York announced his resignation after being elected in November to a third term. Grimm was indicted in April on federal charges including mail fraud, wire fraud, tax evasion, employing undocumented workers and perjury in relation to a Manhattan fast-food restaurant he once co-owned and operated. During the trial, Grimm admitted that he had made “off the books” payments to employees and under-reported nearly $1 million in gross receipts to the Internal Revenue Service and New York state tax collectors. He also admitted that he lied during a deposition about whether employees had been paid in cash, and whether he had used email accounts to operate the restaurant. Yet Grimm was re-elected to his third term a few weeks ago, but months after the indictment.
Then there is Former Governor of Virginia, Bob McDonnell, who has recently been sentenced to two years in federal prison for corruption and taking bribes.
For the strong at heart, consider the Governors who are currently in jail. Rod Blagojevice, Democrat in Illinois, Edward DiPrete, Republican Rhode Island, Edwin Edwards, Democrat of Louisiana, Arch Moore Jr., Republican of West Virginia, John Rowland, Republican Connecticut, and George Ryan, Republican Illinois, are all behind bars. Other Governors were convicted, but avoided serving in prison. They include Mike Easley, Democrat of North Carolina, GuyHunt, Republican Alabama, Bill Janklow, Republican of South Dakota, J. Fife Symington III, Republican of Arizona, Jim Guy Tucker, Democrat of Arkansas, David Lee Walters, Democrat of Oklahma, Bob Taft, Republican of Ohio, and Roger Wilson Democrat of Missouri. Those are just recent Governors. There are hundreds of politicians, in various offices that have been CONVICTED of corruption. There are so many convictions, that Wikipedia had to find a way to categorize so many.
No wonder Americans perceive that 75% of POLITICIANS ARE CORRUPT. Seventy percent of Americans perceive that the politicians who are corrupt use that political power to hurt their enemies.
The amazing thing is that corruption rises to the highest levels. During the 2008 campaign, Newt Gingrich was a GOP contender. Gingrich was previously reprimanded by the House, and he was ordered to pay an unprecedented $300,000 penalty. This was the first time in the House’s 208-year history it has disciplined a speaker for ethical wrongdoing. Gingrich admitted wrongdoing. He knew and admitted that “ he brought discredit to the House and broke its rules by failing to ensure that financing for two projects would not violate federal tax law and by giving the House ethics committee false information.”
In spite of this public reprimand, and Gingrich’s admission to wrong doing, he still ran for President, and won the South Carolina primary . Todd Palin endorsed him. Sarah Palin voted for him.
In anticipation of the 2016 primary, Rick Perry continues to position himself as a GOP contender. Reading media coverage of the Rick Perry campaign, it seems that his “oops” moment,
and the declining price of oil may be more predictive of his difficulty being elected President, rather than the fact that he is under indictment on two felony counts for corruption while in office. Sarah Palin has dismissed the indictments, blaming them on political pressure from Obama.
The frightening thing is that it seems that any politician elected to office may be susceptible to fraud and coercion. Even the current and future Presidents of the United States have been cited as being corrupt.
Term Limits seems the only hope for reigning in the corruption that has become synonymous with politics in America. We must address the corruption of our politicians, or we will never be able to address the many problems facing our country today. We may each disagree on the best way to address a problems, but we can all agree that perpetuating a culture of corruption of our politicians is the best way to cause the problems to become greater and permanent. We may not be able to avoid corruption within our politicians. We should be able to limit their influence by enforcing term limits. If we are able to limit the time any politician serves, we are necessarily limiting the amount and degree of corruption. Perhaps it is naïve to think that we can weed-out corruption in politics. However with term limits we limit the influence of any single politician, and thereby limit corruption of our system of government.
This is the second in the series of articles on the Texas Emerging Technology Fund. The background of this fund is set out in this article. The entirety of the following post is based on the report from John Keel, CPA, of the State of Texas State Auditor’s Office. It was completed April 2011, and is know as “An Audit Report on The Emerging Technology Fund” Report No. 11-029. This report was compiled by a Certified Public Accountant from the State Auditor’s Office. It was not the result of a political adversary of Rick Perry, but an official state audit of a fund promoted and “overseen” by Rick Perry. The following are the Overall Conclusions of the Auditor:
“The Emerging Technology Fund (ETF) should make significant improvements to promote greater transparency and accountability.
Issues in a number of areas impair the ability to administer the ETF in the best interests of the State. It is important to hold recipients of funds accountable. Auditors identified the following weaknesses:
Decision making related to the ETF and recipients of funds is not open to the public.
The ETF conducts limited monitoring of recipient’s performance and expenditures of funds.
The Office of the Governor does not report the value of the State’s investments through the ETF on its financial statements.
The ETF does not administer its contracts with the seven Regional Centers for Innovation Commercialization (RCICS) and the Texas Life Science Center for Innovation and Commercialization…”
As of Aug. 31, 2010 a total of 153 grants and awards totaling $342,336,567 had been awarded to recipients.
The ETF application is considered confidential while an application for an award or grant. Ten other states with similar programs that auditors surveyed allowed significantly more public access to meetings and documents related to the award of public funds. (pg. ii)
The code of ethics policy for the Advisory Committee does not prohibit Advisory Committee members from accepting compensation from or investing in ETF recipients. (pg iii) ( This means that a person on the Advisory committee who recommends a company receive millions of dollars from the EMT could be the CEO of the company.)
The majority of annual reports required in 2007, 2008, and 2009 were NOT submitted.(pg iii)
The office of the Governor did not report the value of all investments held by the ETF on its annual financial report or on its annual report to the Legislature; the only investment that was reported was from the single award from which the ETF has profited. (pg. iii)
The ETF has not developed substantive criteria for the RCICs and the Texas Life Science Center to use when receiving and evaluating applications. (pg 3)(This means there are no standards to determine which companies receive grants, or any guidelines to determine how much money will be awarded.)
Because there is a lack of consistent documentation of votes and recusals, it can’t be determined whether board members appropriately addressed conflicts of interest. (pg. 3) (This means that there is no way to determine if the very people considering an application had a financial interest in the approval of the grant.)
RCICS and Texas Life Science Center do not follow consistent processes for evaluating and receiving applications. (pg 5)(This means that there is no uniformity in how an application is evaluated.)
Meetings of the Advisory Committee of the ETF are not open to the public, and the Advisory Committee does not even document its decisions in meeting minutes.
The Advisory Committee has been inconsistent in terms of which applications it will accept for review. (pg 7)
There is no documentation of how members voted, which members recused themselves, or any disclosures made. (pg 8)(This means that there can be no accountability for any action taken.)
The advisory committee has no written policies and procedures for how it receives, reviews, or recommends funding. (pg9)
While others may nominate people to serve on the Advisory Committee, it is the Governor who make the final determination regarding all appointments to the Advisory Committee.(pg 11)
There are no policies for the ETF application process. This has led to uncertainty in various areas. (pg 13)
The ETF doesn’t perform a credit check on award recipients, or a criminal background check. (pg 13)
Auditors were unable to determine from the documents available for the 21 applications tested whether the ETF Office performed any due diligence or independently verified the information provided by the applicant, such as intellectual property or financial information. (pg 15)
The ETF has not ensured that ETF recipients comply with requirements to submit reports. (pg 18) (This means there is no accountability by the recipients of the millions of dollare given by Texas.)
Three recipients declared bankruptcy or ceased operations in 2010 but failed to submit even one annual report. (Pg. 18)
In 2007 60% of recipients didn’t submit reports due.
In 2008 67% of recipients didn’t submit reports due.
In 2009 59% of recipients didn’t submit reports due.(pg 18)
The ETF does not require recipients to submit (1) financial information in their annual reports or (2) supporting documentation for expenditure of funds. Thus the ETF can’t verify whether recipients make expenditures only for authorized purposes. (pg 20)
The Office of the Governor is not reporting the value of the ETF investments as assets, and it is not reporting the net increase or decrease in the value of these investments on its annual financial reports.
One RCIC reported to the ETF that it spent $59,731 on “Meals and Entertainment” in fiscal year 2010. RCIC is not required to separate funds for the ETF and its operating funds. (pg 28).
Several conclusions are evident from this audit:
1. There is no criteria for the award of money from the ETF, and therefore Rick Perry is able to give state money to any company he chooses.
2. There is no documentation of any value received by Texas for any of the companies who received state money through the ETF, with the exception of a single company.
3. There is no attempt to independently assess the financial viability of a company receiving an award from the ETF, and thus a shell company could receive a gift of money from the ETF and immediately declare bankruptcy after the funds from the state are disbursed. Supporters of Rick Perry could be in a position to receive payment directly from the award of money by the state to their company through the ETF with the only benefit to the individual and/or Rick Perry, and the State of Texas might not realize any benefit!
4. There is no accounting required of a recipient of ETF funds, and thus any misuse of state money would likely never be reported.
5. Members of the Advisory Committee which recommend approval of an award may be financially connected to the applicant company and they are not required to disclose or report the conflict.
6. Rick Perry has ultimate control over any and all funds awarded by the ETF.
7. There is no expectation by the ETF that any funds will ever be paid back to the State of Texas.
8. Because Rick Perry is given the power to appoint every member of the Advisory Committee, “at his pleasure” Rick Perry controls the recommendations of the Advisory Committee “at his pleasure.”
9. There is a complete lack of accounting to the citizens of Texas, and the country, for the monies given to companies.
10. While Texans are deprived of basic services of Government, including education and fire fighting services, the State of Texas is giving away millions of dollars to Rick Perry supporters. This year alone Texas cut funding for public schools in Texas by 2 Billion Dollars. Dallas alone will suffer cuts to its education budget of 87 Million Dollars, which is less than half of the funds given away to Rick Perry supporters through the ETF
It is no wonder that Rick Perry is serving in his tenth year as governor and is the longest-serving chief executive in Texas history. Given the financial backing Perry has achieved using taxpayer money, he will likely continue to be re-elected for as long as he desires. Now the entire country is saddled with the effects of Rick Perry’s corruption.
He is among the top political fund-raisers in the country through his “vast network of wealthy supporters eager to bankroll his presidential ambitions.” In three campaigns for governor, Mr. Perry has raised $102 million, including more than $39 million during his successful 2010 bid for re-election. The Republican Governors Association, of which Mr. Perry is chairman, raised a record $22.1 million during the first half of this year. If allowed to occupy the White House, imagine the wealth he could transfer to his supporters at the expense of U.S. taxpayers.