The Important Role of Immigrants in Our Economy
Commissioner Luis A. Aguilar
U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
Remarks at the 2013 Annual Gala
Georgia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
May 18, 2013
Thank you for that kind introduction. I am glad to be back in Atlanta, and I am delighted to be at the Georgia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce’s (“GHCC”) 2013 Annual Awards Gala. Before I begin my remarks, let me issue the standard disclaimer that the views I express today are my own, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC” or “Commission”), my fellow Commissioners, or members of the staff.
I note that this year marks the 29th anniversary of the GHCC’s founding. Congratulations on this milestone. As some of you know, I have had a long history with the GHCC. I proudly served on its Board of Directors and as Parliamentarian, and had the honor to be named the GHCC Businessman of the Year in 1994 and the GHCC Member of the Year in 2005. Like many of you in this room, I share GHCC’s commitment to the goal of promoting and supporting the economic development of Hispanic businesses and individuals. And I commend your efforts to make sure that the Hispanic community is given every opportunity to contribute to our nation’s progress and economic prosperity.
Tonight I would like to spend my time with you discussing:
%2BThe crucial role that immigrants have played in the economic growth of the United and
%2BHow the SEC can enhance opportunities for small businesses to access capital and grow their businesses.
The Positive Impact of Immigrants on the U.S. Economy
President Obama recently stated that “[t]he lesson of [the past] 236 years [in our country’s history] is clear — immigration makes America stronger. Immigration makes us more prosperous. And immigration positions America to lead in the 21st century.”1 I completely agree with the President. Let me highlight a few interesting facts about the impact of immigrants on our national economy.
First, immigrants are business owners. According to the National Venture Capital Association, over the last 20 years, immigrants have founded, or helped to found, 25% (88 out of 356) public U.S. companies that were backed by venture capital investors.2 This list includes Google, eBay, Yahoo!, and Sun Microsystems.3 In addition, while first generation immigrants are only 12% of the U.S. population, they represent 16.7% of all new business owners in the United States.4 First generation immigrants own businesses in a variety of industries and make substantial contributions to both low-skilled and high-skilled sectors. For example, first generation immigrants:
%2BOwn 28.4% of businesses owned by those with less than a high school education;5
%2BOwn 12% of businesses owned by those with a college education;6 and
%2BOwn 10.8% of all firms with employees, providing job opportunities for thousands of Americans.7
Second, immigrants create jobs. The Fiscal Policy Institute found that small businesses owned by immigrants directly employed an estimated 4.7 million people in the United States. According to the latest estimates, these small businesses generated more than $776 billion in revenue annually.8
At the end of last week, three Democratic legislators renewed their efforts to protect women from right-wing crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs), anti-abortion front groups that often use misleading advertising to market themselves as women’s health clinics. Sens. Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ), and Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) have reintroduced the “Stop Deceptive Advertising For Women’s Services Act,” which would hold those facilities accountable for any deceptive marketing tactics that falsely advertise abortion services they don’t actually provide. The measure encourages the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to crack down on the facilities that falsely advertise abortion services that don’t actually exist, while the organizations that are already accurately depicting their services wouldn’t be penalized.
Crisis pregnancy centers have a long history of preying on vulnerable women with medical misinformation. CPCs present themselves as a valid alternative to women’s health clinics, hoping to lure in women who want more information about their reproductive options, but they actually use conservative propaganda to dissuade women from choosing an abortion. And CPCs like to locate themselves close to reproductive health facilities — often moving in right next door — specifically to confuse patients who may be seeking an abortion.
On Wednesday, Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ) held an anti-abortion press conference for the bill he intends to reintroduce that restricts women’s abortion rights nationwide. A direct challenge to Roe v. Wade, Franks’ bill bans abortions after 20 weeks, before a fetus even reaches the point of viability. Just this week, an appeals court stuck down a 20-week abortion ban enacted by Franks’ home state of Arizona.
2. Donors to social welfare nonprofits are anonymous for a reason.
Unlike donors who give directly to politicians or even to super PACs, donors who give to social welfare nonprofits can stay secret. In large part, this is because of an attempt by Alabama to force the NAACP, then a social welfare nonprofit, to disclose its donors in the 1950s. In 1958, the Supreme Court sided with the NAACP, saying that public identification of its members made them at risk of reprisal and threats.
4. Social welfare nonprofits do not actually have to apply to the IRS for recognition as tax-exempt organizations.
With all the furor over applications being flagged from conservative groups — particularly groups with “Tea Party,” “Patriot” or “9/12” in their names — it’s worth remembering that a social welfare nonprofit doesn’t even have to apply to the IRS in the first place.
Unlike charities, which are supposed to apply for recognition, social welfare nonprofits can simply incorporate and start raising and spending money, without ever applying to the IRS.
EVIL BY ANOTHER NAME:Pennsylvania Judge Sentenced for 28 Years for Selling Kids to the Prison System
I do not use the word
lightly. There is no greater crime to objectify another human being—to quantify that person in dollars and sense is beyond crime. For any adult, much less a sworn Judge in the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA to sell a child is pure EVIL.
Mark Ciavarella Jr, a 61-year old former judge in Pennsylvania, has been sentenced to nearly 30 years in prison for literally selling young juveniles for cash. He was convicted of accepting money in exchange for incarcerating thousands of adults and children into a prison facility owned by a developer who was paying him under the table. The kickbacks amounted to more than $1 million.
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has overturned some 4,000 convictions issued by him between 2003 and 2008, claiming he violated the constitutional rights of the juveniles - including the right to legal counsel and the right to intelligently enter a plea. Some of the juveniles he sentenced were as young as 10-years old.
Indiana Jones, the swashbuckling fictional adventurer, would seem to have nothing on John Goddard.
As a boy growing up in Los Angeles, Goddard dreamed of adventures in faraway lands and spent his life pursuing an elaborate set of goals. He wanted to climb the world’s most perilous peaks, navigate its major rivers and explore its most remote regions, among many other ambitions.
Goddard, an adventurer, explorer and lecturer who evidently fell only a few goals short of a boyhood list that numbered more than 100, died Friday at a Glendale hospital of complications from cancer, said his son Jeffery. He was 88.
“When he was growing up, he heard older people say with regret that they hadn’t done the things they wanted to do,” his son said Monday. “He decided he was going to live a life of adventure so he wouldn’t have any regrets.”
Armed with that determination, Goddard sat in his bedroom one day when he was 15 and jotted down his 127 goals, inspired by his avid reading of the Encyclopedia Britannica and numerous adventure stories.
He wanted to explore the waters of the Amazon, the Congo, the Colorado and the Nile rivers. He hoped to climb an impressive list of mountains, including Mt. Ararat in Turkey, Mt. Cook in New Zealand, Mt. Popocatepetl in Mexico and Tanzania’s Mt. Kilimanjaro, a towering 19,341 feet. He wanted to visit the Great Wall of China, the Panama and Suez canals, Easter Island, the Galapagos Islands and the Taj Mahal.
Surf forecasting has come a long way. This is a clear and well-written analysis of the storm that created the recent run of XXL surf in Tahiti.
Republicans have finally done it. They’ve managed to do their jobs so horribly that their favorability rating has fallen right off a cliff into record-breaking territory.
A new CNN poll reveals that an astounding 59% of Americans view Republicans unfavorably. This development comes on the heels of a recent poll showing that President Obama’s job approval rating has risen.
According to Business Insider:
The Republican Party’s net favorability ratings are down 8 points in the past two months. The amount of respondents viewing the GOP favorably fell from 38 percent to 35 percent, while the number of people who view the party unfavorably climbed five points, up from 54 percent in March.
The poll also shows that 42% believe that the GOP is overreacting about the IRS investigation of Tea Party groups seeking tax exempt status. 54% seem to think Republicans are reacting appropriately to the situation even though liberals groups are being investigated as well. Of course, Republicans knew about the IRS situation in July 2012 and didn’t show the same kind of outrage they are now showing.
The supposed Benghazi scandal is also falling apart for Republicans. A new report indicates that Republicans doctored White House emails in an effort to prove that a scandal actually existed. As it turns out, the only scandal here is that Republicans lied, created false information, made false claims, and wasted taxpayer dollars holding investigation after investigation to keep their witch hunting operation against President Obama alive and well.
Furthermore, the CNN poll shows that a majority of Americans believe that Obama is telling the truth about his non-involvement in the IRS situation. In other words, Republicans have zero credibility and Americans know it. 59% of Americans is record-breaking. Since CNN began tracking favorability in 1992, Republicans have never had a lower rating. Their previous low came during their refusal to raise the debt ceiling in 2011.
If Republicans continue to push on Benghazi and the IRS, and continue to ignore and obstruct legislation that Americans support, they can expect their poll numbers to get progressively worse, and that doesn’t bode well considering that the 2014 election is only a year and a half away. Perhaps then Republicans will finally suffer the consequences they have been begging for since 2009.
WASHINGTON — Two prominent old-line Senate Republicans threw down the gauntlet to their more conversative colleagues on Tuesday, challenging them to stop obstructing the passage of a budget.
Led by tea party Sens. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Mike Lee (R-Utah), Republicans have been preventing the Senate from sending the budget it passed earlier this year to a conference committee with the House, at which major differences between the two chambers’ budget bills would in theory be worked out. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has been supportive of the blockade.
But on Tuesday, Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) blasted the obstruction in a Senate floor showdown with Paul.
McCain went so far as to call his fellow senators’ actions “bizarre.”
WASHINGTON — The Republican candidate for Virginia’s Lieutenant Governor, Rev. E.W. Jackson, is getting a decidedly cool response from his state’s Republican establishment in Washington, who weren’t eager to associate themselves with the conservative firebrand’s history of anti-gay and anti-abortion statements.
Republicans have largely, and happily, lined up behind Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, the GOP’s candidate for governor. But Jackson’s surprise win at the state’s nominating convention last weekend immediately had Republicans fretting about his effect on Cuccinelli’s bid against Democrat Terry McAuliffe.
So just how toxic is Jackson, who once said homosexuals were “very sick”?
“I’m not going to comment on him,” said Rep. Frank Wolf of Jackson. “I endorsed Ken Cuccinelli, I think he’ll do a great job. I’ve worked with him on prison reform, and he’s a very good candidate.”
“No, I’m not saying anything.”
Jackson defended his comments to a Fredericksburg paper on Tuesday and said they were a part of his religious beliefs.
“I’m a Christian. It’s not because I hate anybody. But because I have religious values that matter to me. So attacking me because I adhere to those principles is attacking every churchgoing person, every family that’s living a traditional family life, everybody that believes we all deserve to live,” he said. “I don’t have anything to rephrase or apologize for. People should not paint me as one dimensional.”
Even Cuccinelli, a social conservative himself, wouldn’t comment to the Washington Post about views Jackson has held.
“I am just not going to defend my running mates’ statements at every turn,” he said. “They’ve got to explain those themselves. Part of this process is just letting Virginia voters get comfortable with us, on an individual basis, personally.”
Outgoing Lt. Governor Bill Bolling, a moderate Republican who withdrew his bid for governor late last year, came out harshly against Jackson’s statements.
“These kinds of comments are simply not appropriate, especially not from someone who wants to be a standard bearer for our party and hold the second highest elected office in our state,” he told Politico.