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 REVISIONIST HISTORY

‘The Politics of Race’ …Revising the Legacy of Tom Bradley

Clinton Galloway
CORRUPTION WATCH-I recently saw a documentary titled “Bridging the Divide: Tom Bradley and the Politics of Race" that was shown on PBS. What was supposed to be a documentary was little more than a gratuitous fluff piece distorting the true record of Tom Bradley. While Tom Bradley did very well for Tom Bradley, his effects upon the racial divide…

Special Report: California Saved by Whistleblowers

Ed Coghlan
PERSPECTIVE--“For democracies to work, elected leaders need to be responsive and representative, and voters must be able to hold elected officials accountable for results. Democratic integrity requires an electoral process that empowers voters and gives candidates and incumbents the incentives to listen and lead. It requires transparency…

Can High Density Housing Solve LA’s Housing Crisis? It’s Complicated!

Jason Islas
ANALYSIS-Southern California Public Radio affiliate KPCC, in partnership with the Milken Institute, assembled a panel of experts last Wednesday night to answer the question: can high-density housing solve the housing crisis currently facing L.A. County and California? For those who have been following news about the crippling housing supply crisis…

DWP: No Reform, No Rate Increase!

Jack Humphreville
LA WATCHDOG--Our Department of Water and Power is planning to have its proposed $1.4 billion increase in our water and power rates to be effective as of January 1, 2016. But this timing is unlikely because of the many questions involving the Department’s operations and finances and its dysfunctional and financially draining relationship with City…

Memo to City Leadership: Blame Yourselves if Angelenos Reject the Olympics

Ken Alpern
POLITICS-For the record, I would love to see the Olympics return to LA, and I would love to see a successful Measure R-2. That said, I think the Mayor, City Council and Downtown "leadership" have done enough mischief and backdoor wrongdoing that it will prove very difficult for Angelenos (who really are sick of City corruption) to support either…

Action Alert! Amend the Citywide Mansionization Ordinance

Shelley Wagers and Dick Platkin
speculators. The problem is not house size. It’s house size relative to lot size and neighborhood context. Mansionization disrupts the scale and character of established neighborhoods. Houses that loom over neighboring homes take away air, sunlight, privacy, and market value. Mansionization replaces modest homes with showplaces that price out all…

Trump’s Nonsense: Latinos Shouldn’t ‘Take it Personally’

Fred Mariscal
LATINO PERSPECTIVE-Republican Presidential Candidate Donald Trump continues in the lead with no end in sight. He recently unveiled his plan to deport by force all 11 million undocumented workers residing in the United States. As George Will said, Trump’s roundup would be about 94 times larger than the wartime internment of 117,000 persons of…

Vision Zero 101: Bike Lanes Are NOT Parking Spaces

Sahra Sulaiman
LA STREET WATCH--Tap-tap-tap. The parking enforcement officer looked up from his phone. When he rolled down his window, I smiled and asked politely about his having parked in the bike lane on Los Angeles Street. There was a long pause. “And?” He raised his eyebrows. Having only expected some, not total, disdain, I stuttered my way through my…

Racial Quagmire in a ‘Post-Racial’ America? The Key is Economic Progress, Not Protest

Joel Kotkin
RACISM AND IDENTITY POLITICS-The election of Barack Obama promised to inaugurate the dawn of a post-racial America. Instead we seem to be stepping ever deeper into a racial quagmire. The past two months saw the violent commemoration of the Ferguson protests, “the celebration” of the 50th anniversary of the Watts riots, new police shootings in…

  • Arsenic in Your Rice?! Here’s Help

    Christian Cristiano
    WELLNESS--Rice has been found to be high in arsenic. Arsenic is a chemical element comes in organic and inorganic, and the highly toxic inorganic is…
  • Campbell’s Soup to Remove MSG … at Long Last!

    Christian Cristiano
    WELLNESS-You can’t get more American than Campbell’s soup. This company has been gracing our grocery shelves since 1859. With iconic artists like…
  • Probiotics Instead of Weight Loss Surgery?

    Christian Cristiano
    WELLNESS-In a study published in the journal Cell Metabolism on August 4, they have proven a link between weight loss surgeries and gut microbes. It…





Dream Team. Sarah Palin interviews the Donald

Downton Abbey. Final season promo


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Undocumented Immigrants and the Case for Taxation without Representation

IMMIGRATION POLITICS - Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to be free. I'll give them some taxation without representation.

With apologies to Emma Lazarus, that's the situation faced by many of the more than 10 million undocumented immigrants who live in the United States. Making up about five percent of the workforce, most of the people without legal status have lived in this country for a decade or more.
And before throngs of fear-mongering nativists take to the airwaves this Tax Day to claim that immigrants are stealing taxpayers' jobs and resources, let me assure you that the undocumented consistently contribute to the government's coffers through payroll, sales, property, and income taxes.

Consider Mayra Hidalgo, for example. She comes from one of the millions of families that have relocated from around the world — and played by the tax rules — while remaining in the United States beyond their authorized stay. When her parents left their native Costa Rica, she was only six months old. While watching out for reform that might open the door for them to get legal status, they steadily paid their income taxes to build a good record.

More than 3 million people paid their taxes using an Individual Taxpayer's Number (in place of a Social Security Number) in 2010, totaling $1.8 billion in contributions from taxpayers who are unable to work legally.

Hidalgo's parents got their green cards in 2010. But due to an unfair rule that disqualifies young people from a family's permanent residency application if they turn 18 while they await the outcome, Hidalgo remains undocumented. This forced her to forego the opportunity to attend a top-tier state school, settling instead for the more affordable Polk State College. "It's extremely frustrating," she said. "Finding out I wasn't able to get financial aid was heartbreaking."

The government doesn't give all immigrants an opportunity to adjust their status, but the taxman doesn't discriminate. Hidalgo's parents might have been undocumented, but they've also been Florida taxpayers for 21 years. In Florida, sales taxes fund the higher education system. Yet no amount of immigrant purchasing power has been enough to convince Florida legislators to allow immigrant youth to attend their public colleges as residents.

"It is a constant feeling of anxiety, having to live under this level of stress," said Hidalgo, who belongs to the immigrant youth organization Students Working for Equal Rights.

Congress is likely to target families like the Hidalgos as it debates the 2013 budget. In December, the House of Representatives voted for a tax package that would effectively raise taxes on approximately 2 million working immigrant families like Mayra's.

By denying them eligibility for the reimbursable Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC), Congress claims to be discouraging illegal immigration. In reality, they would be punishing taxpaying immigrants and their kids.

State legislators around the nation have also claimed to defend the interests of taxpayers while promoting harsh immigration enforcement laws. Alabama's so-called "Alabama Taxpayer and Citizen Protection Act," for example, is intended to make life so unbearable for undocumented immigrants that they choose to leave on their own. Similar laws are on the books in Utah, South Carolina, Indiana, and Georgia. Another is in the works in Mississippi.

Meanwhile, the Obama administration is of two minds on this issue. The Justice Department has opted to sue states that have enacted these laws. But the Department of Homeland Security has beefed up enforcement and deported more people than ever. Even while acknowledging that the system is dysfunctional without a path to legal status for those already here, Obama has enforced the law to its fullest extent.

If immigration is the sincerest form of flattery, the nation's politicians are showing they can't take a compliment. But there's something worse than a country anyone can enter to seek a better life. It's a country where no one wants to go.

(Matias Ramos, the Institute for Policy Studies' Carol Jean and Edward F. Newman fellow, is a former undocumented student and a co-founder of the United We Dream Network.  This column was posted first at OtherWords.org a project of the Institute for Policy Studies.)
-cw

Tags: immigrants, undocumented immigrants, taxes, taxation, representation








CityWatch
Vol 10 Issue 30
Pub: Apr 13, 2012

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