Letter from City Commission regarding current latino affairs

October 4, 2017

Members of the Bloomington Community,

For years the City of Bloomington Commission on Hispanic and Latino Affairs has served to identify and research the issues which impact the Hispanic/Latino populations in Bloomington, especially in the areas of health, education, public safety and cultural competency.

We support all Hispanics/Latinos including immigrants, refugees, and multi-generational U.S.-born folks who despite lifetimes in the U.S. are identified as Hispanic/Latino according to U.S. census.  While the commission is not affiliated or motivated by any political party, we cannot deny that our work and sentiment is affected by the national rhetoric which vilifies and, in some cases, criminalizes the very existence of people in our community.

The decision to end DACA destabilizes the lives and futures for hundreds of thousands of folks who have no other crime than having been born outside of the lines you and I know as the U.S. border.  The impact of the DACA repeal means splitting up families, interrupting communities and workplaces, and deporting adults and children to countries they have never really known.  And for those of us who stay, we lose relationships, and we lose our emotional and economic investments in believing in and professing an American dream for all.

We hope to serve as a catalyst to promote positive public and private solutions to multi-faceted issues confronting Hispanic/Latino neighbors ensuring to document the resulting effects of action and inaction on our community.  We unreservedly oppose the decision of the Trump Administration to end DACA especially without a defined and humane path forward for our neighbors, friends, and family.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has studied and proposed common sense immigration reform for years and published detailed analysis to dispel myths, which are used for political advantage.  Opinions and false conclusions have been related as truths regarding “illegals” so we compiled a shortlist of facts for clarity.

Undocumented folks:
1. Do not receive free government healthcare.  Undocumented folks do not qualify for Medicaid or the Healthy Indiana Plan.

2. Do not take jobs that would be filled by citizens.  There is no correlation between high unemployment and immigration.  Findings indicate undocumented folks become entrepreneurs – create jobs – at twice the rate as U.S.-born folks.

3. Do pay taxes.  Taxes paid by undocumented folks proportionately to U.S.-born folks include property, excise, and sales tax.  Also federal, state and local income taxes, Social Security and Medicare taxes are automatically deducted from paychecks just like everyone else.  In 2013, undocumented folks contributed $11.6 billion in state and local taxes.

4.  Are not eligible tax-funded benefit programs.  Data from the Social Security Administration shows that in 2010 undocumented folks paid $13 billion in payroll taxes to Social Security and Medicare, benefits that are only accessible to citizens.

Additional findings by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce include:

– Immigrants do not drive down wages of U.S.-born workers.

–  Immigrants have economically revitalized many communities.

–  Immigrants do not cause crime rates to rise and are less likely to commit crime than U.S.-born individuals.

–  Mass deportation of undocumented immigrants would severely damage the U.S. economy.

Facts and statistics aside, we must remember that DACA recipients are human beings and members of our community.  DACA recipients have lived in the U.S. most of their lives – this is home.   DACA recipients have families, jobs, and contributors to our community.  To drive them away will not just damage our community as a whole but, at its base, it is cruel and inhumane.

City of Bloomington Commission on Hispanic and Latino Affairs

CHLA Letter to HT October 4 2017

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