TRUST Business Letter to Save the DREAM Act

From the Texas Association of Business to the Texas State Legislature:

January 23, 2015

RE: Business Community Support of In-State Tuition and TEXAS Grants for Texas Residents

Dear Members of the Texas Legislature,

On behalf of the undersigned businesses, we respectfully request your support for the continuation of in-state tuition and state financial aid for all eligible youth who attend high school in Texas. We are deeply concerned over state legislation introduced that would end the “Texas DREAM Act” and block access to TEXAS Grants for DREAMer students who meet certain requirements. We urge you to resist those efforts to turn our backs on what has been visionary and bipartisan state law since 2001. Such proposals would hurt Texas businesses and impede prosperity for the people of our state.

As business leaders, we are well aware that a highly-educated workforce is an imperative for our state if it will continue to attract businesses. The rich binational commerce from which Texas benefits is key to preparing our workforce and remaining competitive in a global marketplace. Supporting long-standing law that allows DREAMers to qualify for in-state tuition and TEXAS Grants will provide students the opportunity to attain academic success, serve in our military, and make contributions that will help stimulate our state’s economy through an increase in wages, taxes and consumption of goods and services.

Please consider the needs of our economy, employers, and future workforce and the economic ramifications a repeal of in-state tuition and TEXAS Grants for Texas DREAMers would have on our state.

Sincerely,

Texas Association of Business

Victims of Mexico’s Drug War Rally for Peace and Justice At Texas Capitol

MEDIA ADVISORY
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 6, 2012

CONTACT: Craig Adair, 512-297-6611, cmadair@gmail.com
CONTACT: Ana Yáñez-Correa, 512-587-7010, acorrea@CriminalJusticeCoalition.org

Victims of Mexico’s Drug War Rally for Peace and Justice At Texas Capitol

The Movement for Peace with Justice and Dignity (MPJD), led by renowned Mexican poet Javier Sicilia, is taking part in an historic caravan from San Diego, California, to Washington, D.C., in August and September 2012, and it will arrive in Austin on August 25th.

Sicilia, who lost his son in drug-related violence in 2011, will join other families who have lost loved ones to violence in Mexico to advocate for an end to the bloodshed and for new government policies and reforms in both the United States and Mexico that will help to combat violence.

WHAT: At least 60,000 people have died in Mexico’s drug war since 2006, and as many as 10,000 have disappeared. During the 27 stops along the Caravan for Peace with Justice and Dignity route, families of victims from Mexico will share their stories to highlight the human costs of the war on drugs, while Sicilia and others will discuss policy changes that can reduce drug-related violence. In Austin, local singer/songwriter Gina Chavez will perform at noon on the south steps of the State Capitol Building.

WHEN: Saturday, August 25, 12:00PM – 3:00PM

WHERE: Texas State Capitol Building, South Steps. Parking is available at the Capitol Visitors Parking Garage at 1201 San Jacinto Boulevard (between Trinity and San Jacinto Streets at 12th and 13th streets).

ORGANIZERS: The Texas Criminal Justice Coalition, MORENA Austin, St. James’ Episcopal Church, Texas NORML, Austin Tan Cerca de la Frontera, SOA Watch Austin, Austin Immigrant Rights Coalition, Fellowship of Reconciliation, and many volunteers

Read more about Javier Sicilia here and the Caravan for Peace with Justice and Dignity route here.

Download the flyer here (English) or here (Spanish).

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Ten Ways Immigrants Help Build and Strengthen Our Economy

From the White House Blog 7/12/2012:

America is a nation of immigrants. Our American journey and our success would simply not be possible without the generations of immigrants who have come to our shores from every corner of the globe. It is helpful to take a moment to reflect on the important contributions by the generations of immigrants who have helped us build our economy, and made America the economic engine of the world.

How do immigrants strengthen the U.S. economy? Below is our top 10 list for ways immigrants help to grow the American economy.

  1. Immigrants start businesses. According to the Small Business Administration, immigrants are 30 percent more likely to start a business in the United States than non-immigrants, and 18 percent of all small business owners in the United States are immigrants.
  2. Immigrant-owned businesses create jobs for American workers. According to the Fiscal Policy Institute, small businesses owned by immigrants employed an estimated 4.7 million people in 2007, and according to the latest estimates, these small businesses generated more than $776 billion annually.
  3. Immigrants are also more likely to create their own jobs. According the U.S. Department of Labor, 7.5 percent of the foreign born are self-employed compared to 6.6 percent among the native-born.
  4. Immigrants develop cutting-edge technologies and companies.  According to the National Venture Capital Association, immigrants have started 25 percent of public U.S. companies that were backed by venture capital investors. This list includes Google, eBay, Yahoo!, Sun Microsystems, and Intel.
  5. Immigrants are our engineers, scientists, and innovators. According to the Census Bureau, despite making up only 16 percent of the resident population holding a bachelor’s degree or higher, immigrants represent 33 percent of engineers, 27 percent of mathematicians, statisticians, and computer scientist, and 24 percent of physical scientists. Additionally, according to the Partnership for a New American Economy, in 2011, foreign-born inventors were credited with contributing to more than 75 percent of patents issued to the top 10 patent-producing universities.
  6. Immigration boosts earning for American workers. Increased immigration to the United States has increased the earnings of Americans with more than a high school degree. Between 1990 and 2004, increased immigration was correlated with increasing earnings of Americans by 0.7 percent and is expected to contribute to an increase of 1.8 percent over the long-term, according to a study by the University of California at Davis.
  7. Immigrants boost demand for local consumer goods. The Immigration Policy Center estimates that the purchasing power of Latinos and Asians, many of whom are immigrants, alone will reach $1.5 trillion and $775 billion, respectively, by 2015.
  8. Immigration reform legislation like the DREAM Act reduces the deficit.  According to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, under the 2010 House-passed version of the DREAM Act, the federal deficit would be reduced by $2.2 billion over ten years because of increased tax revenues.
  9. Comprehensive immigration reform would create jobs. Comprehensive immigration reform could support and create up to 900,000 new jobs within three years of reform from the increase in consumer spending, according to the Center for American Progress.
  10. Comprehensive immigration reform would increase America’s GDP.The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office found that even under low investment assumptions, comprehensive immigration reform would increase GDP by between 0.8 percent and 1.3 percent from 2012 to 2016.

 

Read complete blog post »

Washington Post: Why immigrant workers are critical to the economic recovery

On March 16, 2012, J.D. Harrison writes:

Foreign-born workers represent an exceptionally high share of the labor force in roughly half of the country’s fastest-growing and largest-growing sectors, according to new analysis of government data, suggesting that immigrants have a critical role to play in the ongoing economic recovery. Read more …

San Antonio Express News: ‘USA’ chant reflects deep social woes

This is one of those moments when you can see the way national origin and class work out to make a hierarchy of belonging to “America.”  This is a disturbing story about obnoxious high school kids and it also exposes some truths that no one likes to talk about.  Victor Landa says it better below:

When do chants of USA! USA! become a racist rant? It sounds, at first hearing, like an Orwellian proposition. But take that proposition to one of the most American of venues, the high school basketball gym, and that seeming double-speak becomes an ethnic affront; it’s all in the intent.

That’s exactly what happened last week during an important regional basketball match between San Antonio’s Alamo Heights and Edison High Schools. The Alamo Heights Mules defeated the Edison Golden Bears, and with that defeat the Mules advanced in regional tournament competition. But in their post-victory celebration a group of Mules partisans chanted USA! USA! This is the nuance that turned a patriotic chant into a perceived ethnic/cultural slur: both the Mules and the Golden Bears are American High School teams. The USA! chant was entirely out of place, it was not an international competition — unless you dig further into preconceptions.

Alamo Heights is a mostly nonminority, affluent high school. Edison is predominantly Latino, lower- to working-class campus. Within that context the chant has a different implication. It is, at best, demeaning. At worst, it’s insulting. The implied intent is that the victors are American, and defeated are not. The implication goes further still: if the members of the Golden Bears squad are not American, as the chant implies, then what are they?  Read more …