Speaking Truth In The Immigration Vacuum

It takes courage to speak truth to power. It takes character to speak truth to a vacuum.

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg showed character as he took on virtually all of Washington’s political power structure last week over the nation’s decrepit immigration policy. The setting was a panel discussion called “Competing for Talent,” which opened the one-day New York Forum.

The panel, which also included Ricardo Salinas, a Mexican businessman who founded the Mexican conglomerate Grupo Salinas, unveiled a new report on the challenge of attracting and keeping talented immigrants in America. The report, called “Not Coming to America: Why the U.S. Is Falling Behind in the Global Race for Talent,” suggests that the shortage of workers in science, technology, engineering and math-related fields (often called STEM workers) and the shortage of young workers together presage both near- and long-term problems for the country.

Bloomberg laid the bulk of the blame on hyper-partisan national politics. “What’s happened in government is they’re worried so much about getting re-elected, it’s become so partisan, that they just don’t even consider immigration as a real issue,” he said, according to Crain’s New York Business. Bloomberg held both political parties responsible. “The demagoguery against [immigration] has no basis. There are no heroes here. You show me anybody who has stood up.”

The mayor also responded to what he says are common misconceptions regarding the topic, such as the “myth of masses of people coming across the border in the middle of the night.” WNYC reported that he countered the belief that immigrants are a drain on public services. Instead, he said, “Roughly every high tech person you bring in creates two or three jobs at lower wage salaries. Every migrant worker you bring in creates two or three jobs at higher salaries. It’s fascinating – from both ends, it really does help the middle.”

Bloomberg is absolutely right. As I have often argued in this space, our current immigration policy is pointless and self-defeating. Bloomberg suggested that individual states be allowed to determine their own stances on immigration. That does not strike me as a useful answer, but it’s not hard to see why Bloomberg might prefer this sort of federalism to Washington’s indifference. Different concerns, but similar frustrations, have underpinned state-level efforts against illegal immigrants in Arizona and elsewhere.

New Yorkers have a reputation for being blunt, even if politicians generally do not. Bloomberg was very frank in saying, “Government has walked away from what made this country great and what business and education needs.” The new report offers six recommendations to help reform the U.S. system. Those recommendations, which focus on keeping American-trained skilled workers from leaving and on allowing business and government to recruit needed workers overseas, are debatable; that our current system is dysfunctional, from both an economic and a human perspective, is not.

But there is no sign that policy makers are ready to try to solve this problem. Too many just want to build bigger border fences and springboard themselves to re-election from a platform of being “tough” on immigration issues. In the long run, this approach serves no one.

It may not do any good any time soon, but the truth is important, no matter where it’s spoken. Bloomberg was right to censure our unproductive and messy immigration system and, more especially, the politicians on both sides of the aisle who refuse to reform it.

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About Larry M. Elkin 564 Articles

Affiliation: Palisades Hudson Financial Group

Larry M. Elkin, CPA, CFP®, has provided personal financial and tax counseling to a sophisticated client base since 1986. After six years with Arthur Andersen, where he was a senior manager for personal financial planning and family wealth planning, he founded his own firm in Hastings on Hudson, New York in 1992. That firm grew steadily and became the Palisades Hudson organization, which moved to Scarsdale, New York in 2002. The firm expanded to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, in 2005, and to Atlanta, Georgia, in 2008.

Larry received his B.A. in journalism from the University of Montana in 1978, and his M.B.A. in accounting from New York University in 1986. Larry was a reporter and editor for The Associated Press from 1978 to 1986. He covered government, business and legal affairs for the wire service, with assignments in Helena, Montana; Albany, New York; Washington, D.C.; and New York City’s federal courts in Brooklyn and Manhattan.

Larry established the organization’s investment advisory business, which now manages more than $800 million, in 1997. As president of Palisades Hudson, Larry maintains individual professional relationships with many of the firm’s clients, who reside in more than 25 states from Maine to California as well as in several foreign countries. He is the author of Financial Self-Defense for Unmarried Couples (Currency Doubleday, 1995), which was the first comprehensive financial planning guide for unmarried couples. He also is the editor and publisher of Sentinel, a quarterly newsletter on personal financial planning.

Larry has written many Sentinel articles, including several that anticipated future events. In “The Economic Case Against Tobacco Stocks” (February 1995), he forecast that litigation losses would eventually undermine cigarette manufacturers’ financial position. He concluded in “Is This the Beginning Of The End?” (May 1998) that there was a better-than-even chance that estate taxes would be repealed by 2010, three years before Congress enacted legislation to repeal the tax in 2010. In “IRS Takes A Shot At Split-Dollar Life” (June 1996), Larry predicted that the IRS would be able to treat split dollar arrangements as below-market loans, which came to pass with new rules issued by the Service in 2001 and 2002.

More recently, Larry has addressed the causes and consequences of the “Panic of 2008″ in his Sentinel articles. In “Have We Learned Our Lending Lesson At Last” (October 2007) and “Mortgage Lending Lessons Remain Unlearned” (October 2008), Larry questioned whether or not America has learned any lessons from the savings and loan crisis of the 1980s. In addition, he offered some practical changes that should have been made to amend the situation. In “Take Advantage Of The Panic Of 2008” (January 2009), Larry offered ways to capitalize on the wealth of opportunity that the panic presented.

Larry served as president of the Estate Planning Council of New York City, Inc., in 2005-2006. In 2009 the Council presented Larry with its first-ever Lifetime Achievement Award, citing his service to the organization and “his tireless efforts in promoting our industry by word and by personal example as a consummate estate planning professional.” He is regularly interviewed by national and regional publications, and has made nearly 100 radio and television appearances.

Visit: Palisades Hudson

2 Comments on Speaking Truth In The Immigration Vacuum

  1. We have 9% UNEMPLOYMENT, put them to work and then issue visas for STEM worlers. The mayor talks boldly, but he’s employed.

    Vote against the politicians that support ILLEGAL, over LEGAL residents.

    Vote against the politicians that want to issue visas, rather than train present day, legal residents.

  2. Whatever the decision of the U.S. Supreme Court relating to Arizona’s policing law (SB 1070), nobody is going to be very happy with the outcome? For years now the upper courts have placed the unfunded mandate burden of supporting the illegal alien invaders, which is costing eligible citizens and permanent residents their own public welfare? By law the courts have forced upon us to pay for their ‘foothold children, in education to K-12, health (so called emergency) treatments for the whole family. This is taking a huge chunk from the welfare system, so that it undermines the entitlements to our old, handicapped, mentally ill, homeless and even our troops that need extra care from war wounds. A foreign person who has numerous children, who has slyly worked the system, can gain low income housing, (Section 8) housing, then welcoming the whole family circle there—illegal and legal.

    This is a disgusting situation when birthright citizens and naturalized citizens should be the first priority, but instead the state governments have allowed illegal migrants and immigrants to apply for welfare on a massive scale, unprecedented since before Ronald Reagan signed an all purpose amnesty into law during 1986. There were some reasonable assertions of fairness before 1987, when every country had a fair quota, but now it’s a free for all. There is no conclusion to the illegal immigration occupation, because whether you have some credence that the numbers have slowed to a crawl or not, 20 million plus still remain, with unknown numbers of criminals who have slipped past the insecure fence or sneaking through to America on international flights.

    A battle will ensure, no matter the final outcome of Arizona’s (SD.70), as the illegal immigration will keep coming and when the $113 billion dollar, 50 state payout will rise. Everybody understand the need for skilled workers known as ‘STEM’ workers (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) from foreign countries, who have earned a right to immigrate to any country that needs their special experience? But what we don’t need and cannot afford is people coming here, taking the jobs of our children and the millions of Americans who are just scraping by. Mitt Romney, who may become president and Senator Marco Rubio who could become the running mate, need to comprehend that there promises of enacting laws of bringing to a halt to illegal immigration is not going away and will be very prevalent come the election in November.

    The Tea Party has no intentions of allowing any Comprehensive Immigration reform, when the last time was full of fraudulent applications. The time has come to clear both the Senate and House, of politicians having no qualms in passing another amnesty or the Democratic Dream Act. Senator’s as Harry Reid needs be ‘put out to pasture’. This has already happened when Tea Party State Treasurer Mourdock unseated Indiana Senator Richard Lugar, as he had approved of illegal alien amnesty. Senator Lugar believed that illegal immigrants should have the same rights as citizens and law-abiding legal residents. Moudock stated that he will fight to secure our borders and ensure that taxpayer dollars are spent only on those legally allowed to live in the United States. Lugar had a long record of fighting for amnesty for illegal immigrants and was a primary sponsor of the DREAM Act, which would have fast-tracked amnesty for millions of illegal immigrants nationwide. Never before has a political membership in modern times, sprouted with such gigantic influence from the Republican Party in the millions. Liberal Democrats have a fight on their hands, from the Tea Party roots in our Democracy, founded on the U.S. constitution and representing all the people, not just the special interests.

    For those American citizens, legal residents that are against the further pampering of illegal aliens and the astronomical costs out of taxpayers’ pockets, go to the sovereignty web site of ALIPAC, to see those in Congress who have been endorsed and also represent the Tea Party in oncoming elections. To also remember that Illegal aliens (non citizens) DO and HAVE voted in the past and will in future elections, so we must be vigilant, specifically in Blue Democrat states, with the hard core liberal backers. Florida is a great example of 129.000 non citizens on the voter rolls. Many states still have their voting based on trust and the integrity of the system, but alas, it has been compromised in many states. The only chance we have against voter fraud is that every person show a form of governmental picture ID.

    Our immigration laws have been a mockery for far too long, and must be grind to a halt. By the end of June we will know if the legal populace comes first or if unfunded mandates are further going to be magnified by the courts, so illegal aliens attain the same rights as ourselves. All 50 states are confronted by billions of dollars to pay for illegal immigration in public welfare. The cost to Alabama for Costs for Illegal Aliens as studied by The Federation of American Immigration Reform (FAIRUS) it was $2.7 billion dollars owing to the growing illegal alien population. But of course nobody knows the true amount as figures for population and the costs to support these people are kept under wraps. In Texas there have been harsh words rebounding between David Dewhurst and Ted Cruz about illegal immigration, a report overshadows the latest Census data indicates Texas’s illegal immigrant population is costing the state’s taxpayers more than $4.7 billion per year for education, medical care and incarceration. Even if the estimated tax contributions of illegal immigrant workers are subtracted, net outlays still amount to more than $3.7 billion per year. The annual fiscal burden amounts to about $725 per Texas household headed by a native-born resident. EVERY AMERICAN WHO PAYS HIS/HER TAXES SHOULD VIEW HOW MUCH IS BEING SPENT ON ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS? NOT GOVERNMENT AGENCY DOLLARS AS THEY ARE UNDERCOUNTED, BUT AT NUMBERSUSA, THE FEDERATION OF IMMIGRATION REFORM OR THE HERITAGE FOUNDATION.

    Repeating that any thoughts of gaining passage of Amnesty by either party will condemn the majority of states to even more need for health care treatments, hospital inpatients for dialysis and serious surgeries all for free? These are more costs dumped eventually on taxpayers of uncompensated care from the central government. Awarding education for hundreds of thousands of illegal children, who can claim citizenship under a very shaky law, which is destined to reach the Congress thanks to Rep. Steve King? In less than 15 years are schools are overrun by illegal children who cannot speak English, necessitating more time spent by teachers and therefore affecting the failing grades across the country in education.

    Senator Harry Reid of Nevada must go. Not only has he derailed an amendment to stop illegal aliens living in this country, receiving mostly fraudulent IRS child tax reimbursement, to the tune 0f 4.2 billion dollars, he has done nothing to halt the influx of foreign nationals occupying Nevada. The tired old lawmaker has guaranteed that those working in this country illegally will be sustain in receiving billions of dollars in tax reimbursement for children that are not even present in this country. He is responsible for stopping ICE from raiding the building construction sites, but clandestine inviting mass illegal aliens into the state. The TEA PARTY must attach to his seat a new young Senate leader in his place, as he is just one of the liberal-Democrats, involved in wrecking this country’s economic return.

    There are obstacles in Washington by both sides of Congress, but even so 87 bipartisan sponsors Birthright Citizenship law by amending its wrong purpose. Similar is to mandate the very controversial E-verify bill (The Legal Workforce Act), that instead of voluntary for businesses, so it becomes the rule of the land. That every business, no matter how large and small must authenticate their workers, showing they are eligible to work in the United States. E-Verify would open up more than 7 million jobs for American citizens and legal residents. Many of those jobs would go to seasonal jobs for teenagers and legal Hispanics, making their hope for a better future a reality. This is a very strength of every voter, to stop the continuation of these wrongly enacted laws, to amend Birthright Citizenship, so one parent must be a U.S. citizen, by birth or naturalization. The fact of great concern is the influx of illegal alien expectant females are procuring even more billions of dollars in education and schooling for their children, once stepping on to U.S. soil, or disguising their pregnancy when alighting from aircraft, with a design to take advantage of the ‘Birthright Citizenship’ (H.R.140) law badly manipulated from its original intent.

    The Obama administration stands down from proceeding with large scale ICE raids or the deportation of all individuals. Years of complete apathy by both political parties to securing the borders, interior ‘seek and detain’ has allowed large influxes of criminal illegal aliens, with many reentering time and time again. America has become a victim of Washington lax response and failed dismally—intentionally or not—to stop the human scum, bringing their criminal acts; more so the drunken driver revolution of hit and runs, who abscond mostly across our Southern border.

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