Dancing in the Desert: Heck’s Floppy Stand, Amodei’s Right Wing Bona Fides on Immigration

Immigration trendsThere is an upside to enacting comprehensive immigration policy reform, and there are some numbers which indicate positive effects for the Nevada economy.  Here’s a taste of the Las Vegas Sun article on the subject:

Nevada’s job market and gross state product stand to benefit if the immigration reform legislation passed by the U.S. Senate eventually becomes law, according to a study by Regional Economic Models Inc. released Wednesday.

Nevada would receive an additional $6.1 million in tax revenue annually if the bill were enacted, according to a recently released study conducted by the Institute of Taxation and Economic Policy.

The largest increase in tax revenue is expected to come from immigrants with a new legal status who transition from off-the-books labor and start paying income taxes. The ITEP study, using previous research, estimates income taxes are paid by just 50 percent of immigrants currently in the United States illegally.

Nevada has no income tax, and immigrants here illegally already pay the taxes that make up the bulk of the Silver State’s revenue stream: property and sales taxes. (emphasis added)

Thus much for the “soak up taxpayer dollars” argument put forth by the xenophobic opponents of immigration policy reform.  Notice, that since Nevada has no income tax the taxes which DO support local and state services are being paid already.   IF the opponents of comprehensive reform are SO worried about (1) reducing the federal deficit, and (2) boosting the U.S. economy — then objecting to a revamping of our immigration policy makes absolutely no economic, or moral, sense whatsoever.

So, what are Nevada’s Congressional Representatives saying about the debate and passage of comprehensive immigration reform legislation?

Representative Joe Heck’s (R-NV3) been dancing since the fireworks went off on the 4th of July:

“Heck’s response in a nutshell: He is in favor of reforming the immigration system and including a pathway to citizenship, but he would not support the bill that passed the Senate.

He also said he is dedicated to tackling immigration reform this year, while acknowledging the difficulty of hashing out an agreement on an issue that elicits strong emotions on each side.” [LVSun]

The Nevada Progressive sums up this position nicely:

“Constituents have been asking Rep. Joe Heck for reform all this year. But so far, all he’s given back was a vote to deport DREAMers and psycho-babble on amending the Constitution to end birthright citizenship (??!!). Rep. Heck is angling hard to stay in the good graces of the 21st Century Know Nothings, but he seems to be forgetting about all the rest of his constituents.”

Yes, Representative Heck voted “yes” on H. Amdt. 136, June 6, 2013, a proposal to prohibit the enforcement of the executive orders pertaining to prioritization of ICE deportations. [PVS]

Representative Mark Amodei (R-NV2) joined Heck in voting to deport Dreamers ASAP on June 6th, and his position on immigration policy has earned him some dubious accolades.  For example, Rep. Amodei has a 100% rating from NumbersUSA (Americans for Better Immigration).   NumbersUSA is now, and has been since its inception in 1997, an immigration reduction group.  It’s also supported by the “usual suspects.”

“NumbersUSA has received over $17 million in donations from a major anti-immigration group called the Colcom Foundation, and $3 million from the Scaife Foundations to help steer their efforts to kill the immigration legislation.  In one of their reports, NumbersUSA blames immigration for “sprawl, congestion, overcrowded schools, lost open spaces and increasing restrictions on … individual liberty caused by the new population explosion.” [SW]

If this funding sounds a bit incestuous, it is.  The Colcom Foundation was established and was previously managed by Richard Scaife’s late sister, Cordelia Scaife May. [SW]  It’s indeed interesting that Representative Amodei would be catering to the wishes of anti-immigration groups like NumbersUSA while declaring his undying love for the American Free Enterprise System, the need to pay down the deficit,  and expounding on the need for jobs…
Meanwhile back in the mass of the Great American Public:
Just 13 percent of Americans think the path to citizenship should be stripped from the Senate’s immigration bill. Polls have found repeatedly that most Americans support a path to citizenship, with a smaller majority supporting a much faster 5-year timeline instead of the Senate’s 13-year plan.  [TP]

It’s time for Representative Amodei to take the views of those of his constituents who don’t happen to be funded by the Scaife Crew into consideration, and for Representative Heck to stop flailing like the Windmill in which he last performed — and to support the enactment of comprehensive immigration reform.

By the way — How’s that GOP outreach to members of the Hispanic community coming along these days?

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