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Progressive Politics in Minnesota, the Nation, and the World

For the GOP - Day Of Reckoning On Immigration Is Coming Soon

Category: Immigration
Posted: 02/25/14 18:38

by Dave Mindeman

The US House Democrats are trying to circulate a discharge petition to bring the immigration bill to a vote. For those of you who don't know, a discharge petition can bring a bill to the floor of the House if it can get 218 signatures - a majority of the members.

Republicans continue to avoid bringing this up for debate. It is an avoidance that will be futile in the future.

Let's look at some demographic data:

Florida (27 electoral votes) has a white population of 57.9% at the moment. Hispanics make up 29.6% of the population.

Texas (34 electoral votes) has a white population of 45.3%. Hispanics make up 37.6%.

California (56 electoral votes) has a white population of 40.1%. Hispanics make up 37.6% of the populace.

Arizona (10 electoral votes) has a white population of 57.8%. Hispanics now make up 29.6% of the total.

Nevada (5 electoral votes) has a white population of 54.1%. Hispanics are at 26.5%

New Mexico (5 electoral votes) has a white population of 40.5%. Hispanics are the majority at 46.3%.

Those states have a total of 137 electoral votes. Over 1/2 of the amount needed to elect a President. Three of those states have minorities making up a full majority of the population (Texas, California, and New Mexico).

Some other demographic notes to ponder.....

Maryland has a 54.7% white population. Louisiana is at 60.3%. And even Mississippi has a white population that is 58% of the total. Even more interesting is that Hawaii has a white populace of 22.7% - the majority of the state has Asian descent.

Republicans can continue to wish all of this away, but these trends show no sign of discontinuing.

And to let immigration inaction burn as a minority issue (an issue for which they can bear direct blame) in this country is political suicide for the GOP. Pure and simple.

In 2014, the Republicans may think that they can stall on this...obstruct on this...and continue on their merry majority way. And odds are that they can - at least for now....one more time.

But the day of reckoning is close at hand. And burying your heads in the sand won't protect you.

Hear that John Kline? Hear that Erik Paulsen?

Don't say you weren't warned.
comments (0) permalink

Sens. Kyl & McCain: How About Some Immigration Straight Talk

Category: Immigration
Posted: 08/03/10 01:43, Edited: 08/03/10 17:18

by Dave Mindeman

When it comes to immigration, the Republican "facts" are spewed forth like venom from a snake. They want us to fear illegal immigration...to think that it is a big part of our economic problem.

Except that when these statements are examined, they don't hold up under scrutiny and I am disappointed in the media that does not call the GOP for this shameful characterization.

First, let's take Senator John Kyl of Arizona and this statement on Face the Nation:

When pressed by guest anchor Harry Smith on CBS? Face the Nation, SB-1070 supporter Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ) called the reports a ?gross generalization?:

SMITH: One of the things that?s come to light over the past last couple weeks is that in some of these border towns that were thought to be susceptible to lawbreaking of illegal immigrants. Crime is actually down. Crime in Phoenix for instance is down significantly over the past couple of years.

KYL: Well, that?s a gross generalization. Property crimes are up, certain violent crimes on certain parts of the citizenry are up. Phoenix is a very large source of kidnapping. It?s called the kidnapping capital of the United States?So there?s a great deal of violence and crime associated with illegal immigrants.

First the statement about property and violent crimes. Take a look at these statistics from Arizona:

Violent Crimes:


Property Crimes


Next, let's talk about Phoenix and kidnapping. Senators Kyl and McCain, both perpetuate this....to quote McCain:

"Phoenix, Arizona, is the No. 2 kidnapping capital of the world."

John McCain on Sunday, June 27th, 2010 in comments on 'Meet the Press'

Well, Politifact tried to examine this statement and their conclusion?


Politifact tried to find hard evidence and mostly found that there is questionable statistics on this;

Scott Stewart, vice president of tactical intelligence for Stratfor, an Austin-based global intelligence company, separately chimed in: "According to our analysts, there is no way that Phoenix is the No. 2 city in the world for kidnapping and there are significantly more kidnappings in many other cities throughout Latin America," he said. "San Salvador, Guatemala City, Bogota as well as several cities in Mexico certainly have higher kidnapping rates than Phoenix."

But even if you examine Phoenix itself, you find that the problem is real but exaggerated for political effect:

He (Sgt. Tommy Thompson, a public information officer at the Phoenix Police Department) said Phoenix has been dealing with the issue for several years now, and the number of reported kidnappings have actually decreased since this story broke in 2009. There were 358 reported kidnappings in 2008 (10 fewer than reported by the LA Times, due to later reclassification of the crimes), 318 in 2009 and there were 105 from January through May 2010, he said, putting the city on track to sustain less than 300 this year.

If we are going to discuss this issue, let's debate it honestly. We can fix this but not with fearmongering.

And to the media: How about some fact checking?
comments (4) permalink

How Many Businesses Are We Turning Away at Our Borders?

Category: Immigration
Posted: 07/21/10 12:43

by Dave Mindeman

The immigration debate gets heated and contentious, but I often feel that we are just dancing around the issue and never focus on the core problem.

Conservatives laser in on the illegal part. While liberals tend to focus on the discrimination part. The problem is you have to deal with both... and you have to deal with them equally.

Argue with a conservative and the ultimate comeback will be "what part of illegal don't you understand?". Yes, there are illegal immigrants in this country and more trying to get here, but lumping entire ethnic goups under a problematic umbrella is just as wrong as ignoring illegal status.

Liberals probably tend to minimize illegal status. There are laws involved -- bad laws -- but laws never the less. Unless we deal with enforcing the law or fixing it, liberals will never gain the high ground either.

The main problem is that we have to do something....about all of it.

One portion of this that conservatives need to think about it is that minority entrepeneurs can help our economy. According to Census and labor statistics, minority owned businesses are growing at a remarkable rate in numbers and dollars.

The number of minority-owned businesses increased by 45.6 percent to 5.8 million between 2002 and 2007, more than twice the national rate of all U.S. businesses, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. In addition, the number of women-owned businesses increased 20.1 percent during the same period. The total number of U.S. businesses increased between 2002 and 2007 by 18.0 percent to 27.1 million.

This has been broken down by ethnic groups as well:

Hispanic-owned businesses increased by 43.6 percent.....Over the same period, receipts of Hispanic-owned.... increased by 55.5 percent.

Now, with the US in a deep recession, shouldn't we be giving all the encouragement we can to such ventures? It should be pretty obvious that Hispanic-owned businesses are not going to be operated by illegal immigrants. There is too much paperwork and regulation for that to happen. But how many of these entrepeneurs are we turning away at the border? How much growth are we saying "no" to?

These fledgling minority owned companies are built on hard work and ultimate risk taking. They are not Fortune 500 companies. A lot of them are family owned and financed by mortgages on their homes and property. They put everything they have into these businesses. Isn't that what America is about?

Many of them have families and realtives on the other side of the border. Our laws continue to hamper efforts to reunite them. We desperately need immigration reform.

Studies have been done that point to the benefits of this reform. A study by Dr. Ra?l Hinojosa-Ojeda from the University of California can be summed up this way:

Researchers point to data that suggests legalizing undocumented workers would be a boon to the U.S. economy. Comprehensive immigration reform would yield $1.5 trillion to the U.S. GDP over a 10-year period, generate billions in additional tax revenue and consumer spending, as well as create hundreds of thousands of jobs.

We can talk endlessly about building walls and detection technology and adding law enforcement presence, but that is the side of the coin that builds animosity and tears us apart.

Let's bring the entrepeneurial engine in this to the forefront. Let's let their hard work, work for America.

It is time for immigration reform. It will benefit everyone.
comments (2) permalink
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