Airing tomorrow May 25 on Houston PBS at 11 p.m. Patricia Gras will discuss illegal immigration with Jorge Gestoso.
If most Americans want some sort of comprehensive immigration reform, why have we not passed any legislation to address this national challenge?Let us know your thoughts.
What I learned this week: Fear which often paralyzes is a powerful force politicians use, but anger gets people moving. Just watch the Middle East.
What I am grateful for:
I live in country where I don’t run the risk of being shot for engaging in demonstrations.
Who is Jorge Gestoso?
Jorge Gestoso was the former anchor of CNN en Espanol for 16 years. He is considered one of the top Latino journalists in the nation and recently won the prestigious Dupont Award at Columbia University. He is now anchor and producer for Vme, the Spanish speaking network associated with Public Television. In his program Jorge Gestoso Investiga, he spent 4 months in Arizona trying to decipher the controversial immigration law SB 1070 which has galvanized Latinos to get more involved in the political process.
He shared some interesting facts about the law.
- The number of undocumented immigrants in Arizona has increased 5 times since 1990. Those in favor of the law feel the undocumented are bringing in crime, drugs, and using American resources for their own benefit. They are criminals since they came here illegally and they come to the US to have children who are considered US citizens once they are born here. They feel invaded.
- The only Latino Sheriff in the border of that state, Antonio Estrada who’s been in that position for 40 years said that what is being said about Latino immigrants who have entered illegally are lies. They do not bring more crime and are not for the most part bringing in drugs. He says less than one percent are doing so and that crime in that area has decreased.
- The Republican Governor Jan Brewer had a 23% approval rating before she passed the law and her approval ratings went up to 65 Percent after she did so. Gestoso stated, she established herself as the person who would save Arizonans from the insecurity and fear caused by illegal immigration.
- Gestoso explained there were three factors that have created the flux of the undocumented to the United States
- NAFTA or the so called free trade agreement with Mexico and Canada displaced 2.3 million agricultural workers in Mexico. The United States for instance has subsidized corn producers 55 billion dollars for the past 20 years, so many in Latin America believe the free trade agreement is not a “fair” agreement.
- The United States offers 450,000 jobs every year that Americans don’t want to do and there are not enough legal visas to make up for the demand, so Gestoso found US corporations have a role to play in the problem of illegal immigration.
- Latin American Governments govern for the rich and export the poor.
Here are some facts and figures about immigration that I read on Texas Monthly Magazine
There are approximately 11 million undocumented immigrants in the United States
1.7 of them live in Texas. The vast majority are from Mexico. They live in the shadows.
A 2006 Report by the comptroller Carole Keeton Strayhorn found that undocumented immigrants paid $424.7 million more to the state in taxes and fees that the state spent on them in education, health care and incarceration that’s a gain. BUT local governments and hospitals were nearly 1 billion dollars in the hole.
At the Federal level, undocumented immigrants pay taxes they may never recover.
Texas is one of the few states were the undocumented have lower rate of incarceration that native born Americans.
It is a violation of federal law to deny a child an education despite their immigrant status.
On Comprehensive reform by the Cato Institute
Immigration Lawyers on Comprehensive Reform
Presidential speech on immigration reform