Saturday, October 13

Podcast: Talking GOP Debate and No Child Left Behind

Click here to listen to the MP3 audio of the discussion between Michel Martin, Stephen Henderson and myself on the GOP debate, and Bush's push for No Child Left Behind. The segment on the new gospel music competition reality show is a great segment -- check it out as well.
Tell Me More, October 12, 2007 · This week, GOP presidential contenders met for a debate in Dearborn, Michigan. Meanwhile, President Bush was stumping for reauthorization of the education bill, "No Child Left Behind." In this week's Political Chat, hear insights from political blogger Josue Sierra and Stephen Henderson, Deputy Editorial Page Editor at the Detroit Free Press.

You can listen on the NPR website right here.


Related Posts:
-
On Air: Talking GOP Debate and No Child Left Behind
- GOP Economy Debate


Other Posts of Interest:
-
Conference for Minority Journalists of Faith

Don't Call it Xenophobia and Don't Call it Racism

[This post was originaly written on September 28th, when ICE was conducting raids on employers of illegal immigrants.]

Fox news is covering the recent ICE raids on McDonalds (and other companies I think), and the accusations by Hispanic community leaders (who decides who a "community leader" is anyway?) that these raids are somehow "racist.'

I can sympathize with the plight of an immigrant who is in this country seeking a better life and seeking to provide for his/her family. Having lived in 3 different Central American countries as a missionary, so I can also sympathize with the plight of Latin Americans who are not able to provide for their families. I certainly can sympathize with the hardship created by corrupt governments in Latin America. BUT...and this is a MAJOR BUT...every action has consequences. Entering our country illegally has legal consequences, including deportation. This is standard. It may not have been enforced in the past, but not so anymore. Why is this suddenly a surprise? Everyone knows it was bound to happen eventually, and every illegal immigrant knows that this is always a possibility.

Now it is, and thank goodness some of our government officials are starting to do something about it. If you are here illegally, consider the price. This is not a race issue -- it is a simple "rule of law" issue.

Is there racism out there -- sure! I've seen it and experienced it myself. But considering the reasonable public outcry by a vast majority of citizens -- those who our government serves -- it is only logical that our government agencies (ICE) would start doing their job (they should have been doing for along time...). I wouldn't call that racism. I would call it the restoration of the rule of law.

My advice: If you are an illegal immigrant in the US, start planning a way to go back home. Get some savings, and work up a business plan to start a small business back home. I realize life in the US is so much better than in Latin America, but until citizens -- until Hondurans, Costa Ricans, Nicaraguans, Guatemalans, Mexicans, and others do something -- start protesting and pressuring THEIR governments to open up their markets, and provide business-friendly economies -- nothing is going to change. But here in the US, we still have to have a country of laws. This is, after all, what makes our economy so strong, so effective and so productive.

Ultimately, if the United States allow illegal immigrants to freely falsify identity papers, social security IDs and tax documents, this would weaken the integrity and trust we place in our systems--the very economy they are benefiting from.

I'm sorry...I really am, but that's how it has to be. I don't hate immigrants--my father is one. I don't fear Hispanics -- I am one and I am friends with many Hispanics or Latinos. This has nothing to do with it.

So, don't call it xenophobia and don't call it racism. No one is buying that around here...

Thursday, October 11

Josue's Employment Disclosure

For  public disclosure, I wanted to make sure my regular readers here know that I am no longer part of the editorial staff at Townhall.com. I've moved to other opportunities and hope to have some more free time to increase my activities around here.
 
I'd like to start doing more guest blogging, and have more guest bloggers on Latino Issues. If you're interested, leave me a comment below.
 
~ Josue

Tuesday, September 18

SIIA Joins Immigration Voice in Call for Green Card Reform

If you thought the labor issues surrounding the immigration debate is all about farming or hospitality, you're wrong. I'm not advocating one position or the other -- I'm advocating reasonable debate and careful analysis on the real impact of inaction. Below is an informative press release from the Software & Information Industry Association that came in via email.

SIIA Joins Immigration Voice in Call for Green Card Reform

 

Washington, DCSept. 18, 2007.  The Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA), the principal trade association for the software and digital information industry, today joined in support with the Immigration Voice, an organization of more than 3,000 highly skilled legal immigrants, in an effort to obtain legislative reform of the green card system.

 

“Software and digital content companies face a workforce skills shortage that is rising dramatically,” said Mark Bohannon, General Counsel and Senior Vice President for SIIA.  “And the challenge will only get greater in the coming years.  According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of jobs for computer software engineers in the U.S. is expected to reach 450,000 by 2014.  This projected 48 percent growth reflects that this is one of the fastest growing occupations in the country, one that is certain to outstrip supply of U.S-born workers.”

 

SIIA has long been a leading supporter of high-skilled immigration reform, including reform of both the H-1B visa and employment-based green card programs, critical elements for U.S. companies to recruit and retain the necessary talent to compete in the global economy.   

 

“In the Information Age, a highly educated and skilled workforce is essential as intellect and innovation give the United States its competitive edge.  And yet, we have thousands of highly-skilled workers here today who want nothing more than to work in the U.S. and contribute to our vibrant and strongly-growing economy, but who are at risk of being sent home to compete with us.  The price of failing to act will be steep.  If we do not have green card reform this year, thousands of the talented professionals that presently work for American employers will leave to take jobs with our competitors abroad,” Bohannon concluded.

 

About SIIA

SIIA is the principal trade association for the software and digital content industry. SIIA provides global services in government relations, business development, corporate education and intellectual property protection to more than 800 leading software and information companies. For further information, visit www.siia.net.

 

## 

Friday, September 14

RNC Celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month

The Republican Party General Chairman Mel Martinez released the following statement (via email) recognizing National Hispanic Heritage Month:

WASHINGTON – Republican Party General Chairman Mel Martinez released the following statement recognizing National Hispanic Heritage Month:  

“This month, we celebrate the millions of Hispanics who every single day are contributing to our great nation.  We honor those who have come here to live the American dream, we recognize those who have been here for generations, and we thank those who are serving our nation in uniform here and overseas.

“The Republican Party is dedicated to making sure opportunity is available for all Americans.  In the last six and a half years, we have seen the achievement gap in schools narrow, Hispanic unemployment reach historic lows, and unprecedented numbers of Hispanics opening their own small businesses.  We can look back with pride on what we’ve achieved, and we can look forward knowing that the future holds even greater accomplishments.”

 

Sunday, September 9

Al Cardenas Comments on Univision Democrat Forum

Al Cardenas is Chairman of Romney for President's Hispanic Steering Committee. I got the following email from the campaign.
Boston, MA – Al Cardenas, the Chairman of Romney for President's National Hispanic Steering Committee, issued the following statement regarding tonight's Democrat presidential forum on Univision:
"Tonight's Univision forum demonstrated once again the consequences that a President Clinton, President Obama or President Edwards would have on the Hispanic community.  Whether it's tax increases for families and the two million Hispanic business owners, socialist-style health care, coddling dictators, opposing free trade with our allies or putting family values last, the Democrat presidential candidates made clear how out of sync their policies are with the best interests of the Hispanic community.

Mitt Romney has put in the effort to reach out to this vital bloc, and, after watching tonight's debate, I am confident his vision for the Hispanic community and all Americans will trounce the Democrats' vision in any match-up."
Considering the long history with socialism, communism and dictators in many Latin American countries, I think most voters of Hispanic heritage would agree with this assessment. The exception would be within the college aged--which is no surprise considering the type of academic oppression against conservatives going on in major universities across the country. Of course, as with any voting block, I think a lot of people tend to like what they hear, and don't consider the consequences when it comes to the ideas, values, and vision that Democrats have for America. I've certainly seen plenty of that happen in Latin American elections, as it happens in ours.

Saturday, September 8

Gov. Romney: End Sanctuary City Policies

Excellent comments by Romney on the issue of sanctuary cities. I also loved the fact that he made the distinction between legal and illegal immigration, and addressed the fear many legal immigrants may be feeling as they see the growing frustration with illegal immigration in our country.





Also, check out this clip where Romney comments on the debate and the difference between him and Rudy.

Sunday, September 2

Cat 5 Felix Aiming for Honduras

Via the Sun Sentinel.
The National Hurricane Center in Miami said Felix was packing maximum sustained winds of 165 mph as it plowed westward toward Central America, where it was expected to skirt Honduras' coastline Tuesday before slamming into Belize on Wednesday as a hurricane capable of massive destruction.
Let's hope it misses it, and that its damage is minimum. I'll be traveling to the Southern coast of Honduras this coming October, and just visited La Ceiba on the Northern coast a few months ago.

Saturday, September 1

Labor Shortage Will Depress the Economy

Rudy Carrasco at Urban Onramps is blogging about those jobs Americans won't do and an Associated Press article that reports on help wanted ads that are going unanswered in the west.
The article doesn’t even mention the word “immigration.” (Well, not by name.) But read it and you will get a picture of what things might be like once the government follows through on this immigration crackdown thing. There has been a big debate on the concept of “jobs Americans won’t do,” but up to now it’s been pretty theoretical. Well, from now on, it won’t be.
I don't have a problem with the illegal immigration crackdown--the laws need to be enforced--but I do have a problem with the fact that nothing is being done to fix the legal immigration process. It needs to be safer, more efficient, and provide for the labor needs of the country. Either that, or the real labor shortage issue needs to be addressed. It seems quite obvious we have a serious need for a comprehensive temporary worker program in many sectors of our economy.

Rudy quoted the following in the AP article:
John Francis, who owns the McDonald’s in Sidney, Mont., said he tried advertising in the local newspaper and even offered up to $10 an hour to compete with higher-paying oil field jobs. Yet the only calls were from other business owners upset they would have to raise wages, too. Of course, Francis’ current employees also wanted a pay hike.

“I don’t know what the answer is,” Francis said. “There’s just nobody around that wants to work.”

The final paragraph in the article was worth paying noting:

"The hardest thing is to keep the economy growing at a strong rate when you have a low unemployment rate," he said. "Take a company that wants to expand. Where is the next worker going to come from?"

Americans need to STOP being so combative, emotional and irrational when discussing the immigration debate, and need to start discussing solutions and ideas. I'm not asking anyone to change their views or to compromise on their position -- I'm asking people to start listening and start being solution-oriented in our discussions. Yes, border security is urgent. Yes, the laws need to be enforced.  But there is a deeper underlying economic problem that seems to me is being ignored in all the rhetoric.

The fact remains that if our country continues to experience the labor shortage we are experiencing, the economy is going to slow down and prices are going to go way up. It's basic economics! And while many middle class and affluent Americans might look at their check books right now, and say "I'm ok with that...I can pay higher prices" the fact remains that millions will be negatively affected by an economic slowdown. 
 
Being myopic about this issue is not going to help our country. Saying exciting, passionate and short-sighted sound bites for the cameras might get you invited back on Fox News, but it won't solve our country's labor and economic challenges. It truly is time conservatives start looking for solutions. What is it going to be?

Feel free to leave your ideas, suggestions or thoughts in the comments. What solution do you think America should pursue? What would you suggest Congress, the Senate and the future President should pursue?
Cross posted at Josue.Townhall.com

Thursday, August 30

New CIS report: Immigration and U.S. population growth

 Hey everyone. I got this in my inbox this morning.  I want to highlight a key point in the policy discussion section.
Some see a deteriorating quality of life with a larger population, including its impact on such things as pollution, congestion, loss of open spaces, and sprawl. Others may feel that a much larger population will create more opportunities for businesses, workers, and consumers. These projections do not resolve those questions. What the projections do tell us is where we are headed as a country. The question for the nation is: Do we wish to go there? 
Regardless of your views on the issue, I think its important to note that it is American citizens -- voters -- who should get to choose on the direction America will take. The law is already clear about much of the issues being debated -- why are we debating it? America DOES have a right to determine its own future and what guests it welcomes. The push to legitimize illegal immigration is ultimately only harming law-abiding, legal immigrants who get caught up in the wave of discontent with our uninvited guests.
 
Here is the rest of the email.
IMMIGRATION TO ADD 100+ MILLION TO U.S. POPULATION BY 2060
New Report Takes Detailed Look at Different Levels of Admissions


WASHINGTON (August 30, 2007) -- A new report from the Center for Immigration Studies projects how different levels of immigration would impact the future size of America's population. The findings, carefully modeled on earlier projections by the Census Bureau, show that the current level of immigration will add 105 million to the population by 2060, while having a small effect on the aging of society.

The report, entitled ''100 Million More: Projecting the Impact of Immigration on the U.S. Population, 2007 to 2060,'' will be online at
http://www.cis.org . Among the other findings:

* Currently, 1.6 million legal and illegal immigrants settle in the country each year; 350,000 immigrants leave each year, resulting in net immigration of 1.25 million.

* If immigration continues at current levels, the nation’s population will increase from 301 million today to 468 million in 2060 -- a 167 million (or 56 percent) increase. Future immigrants plus their descendants will account for 105 million (or 63 percent) of the increase.

* The total projected growth of 167 million is equal to the combined populations of Great Britain, France, and Spain. The 105 million from immigration by itself is equal to 13 additional New York Cities.

* If the annual level of net immigration was reduced to 300,000, future immigration would add 25 million people to the population by 2060 -- 80 million fewer than the current level would add.

* The above projection follows exactly the Census Bureau's assumptions about future birth and death rates, including a decline in the birth rate for Hispanics, who comprise the largest share of immigrants.

* Net immigration has been increasing for five decades; if that trends continues, the increase caused by immigration will be higher than the projected 105 million.

* While immigration has a very large impact on the size of the nation's population, it has only a small effect in slowing the aging of American society.

* At the current level of net immigration (1.25 million a year), 61 percent of the nation's population will be of working age (15 to 66) in 2060, compared to 60 percent if net immigration were reduced to 300,000 a year.

* If net immigration was doubled to 2.5 million a year it would raise the working-age share of the population by one additional percentage point, to 62 percent, by 2060. But that level of immigration would create a U.S. population of 573 million, double its size in the 2000 Census.


Policy Discussion: The findings of this study make clear that the debate over immigration should not be whether it makes for a much larger population -- without question it does. Consistent with the findings of the Census Bureau, these projections also show that the debate over immigration should not be whether it has a large impact on the aging of society -- without question it does not. The central question this study raises and that Americans must answer is what costs and benefits come with having a much larger population and a more densely settled country. Some see a deteriorating quality of life with a larger population, including its impact on such things as pollution, congestion, loss of open spaces, and sprawl. Others may feel that a much larger population will create more opportunities for businesses, workers, and consumers. These projections do not resolve those questions. What the projections do tell us is where we are headed as a country. The question for the nation is: Do we wish to go there?

Methodology: This report uses the Census Bureau's assumptions about future birth and death rates from its most recent projections and then simply varies the immigration component. The last Census Bureau projection, released in March 2004, incorporated only one immigration scenario into the projection, so immigration's impact was unclear. The new Center for Immigration Studies report is the first to show the impact of so many different levels of immigration. At present, elected officials have no way of knowing how 200,000 immigrants a year versus two million immigrants a year might affect the population in, say, a 20- or 50-year time period. These projections provide the answers. The new projections are based on the most recent immigration data, whereas the March 2004 Census Bureau projections were based on data collected in the 1990s prior to the results of the 2000 Census, and assumed a much lower level of immigration than was actually the case.


Monday, August 27

In my inbox: RNC Responds to Chuck Schumer

I guess it was to much to hope that the Democrat congress could avoid making the Justice Department into a partican issue.
 
"RNC Chairman Robert M. “Mike” Duncan released the following statement today in response to Chuck Schumer’s comments on the resignation of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales."

“Chuck Schumer, the Chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, has wasted no time appearing on the airwaves today to make the resignation of Alberto Gonzales – and the appointment of a new Attorney General – into a partisan issue.  The appointment of a new Attorney General should not be about scoring political points, and it should not be about fundraising for the next election; it must be about selecting the best possible person to be our nation’s next top law enforcement official.” 

Putnam Statement on Resignation of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales

Congressman Adam Putnam (FL-12), Chairman of the House Republican Conference, issued the following statement on the resignation of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales:

“The Department of Justice now has the opportunity to benefit from fresh leadership. What the American people need is an effective, independent Attorney General who will be undistracted in his or her efforts to enforce our laws, secure our borders, and vigorously prosecute the war against radical militant Islamists.

“The Congress will soon take up debate on permanently modernizing our intelligence gathering laws. A new Attorney General should have the necessary credibility on Capitol Hill to give our intelligence and law enforcement communities the tools they need to intercept terrorist communications and stop attacks before they happen.

“Finally, it is incumbent upon both the new Attorney General and Congressional Democrat leaders to put an end to the politicization of the Justice Department.”

I'll second that last idea -- how about the Democrats stop politicizing the Justice Department? Is that to much to ask for?