Nevadans know, or should know, that immigrants play a positive role in our economy. As reported yesterday, a 2011 study found immigrants creating 28% of the new businesses in this country, and 25% of the new enterprises in seven out of eight economic sectors. This isn’t chump change, and new businesses mean more jobs. That is what we want isn’t it — new jobs?
So, it’s always nice to know where one’s Congressional Representatives stand on the issue of comprehensive immigration policy reform. Who’s in favor of reform in order to gain ever more economic benefit from immigrants to this country and state? Evidently, Representative Joe Heck (R-NV3) is willing to trade the potential $1.4 trillion in additional economic activity in the U.S.A, Nevada included therein, for the applause of the Tea Party contingent. His campaign twitter account as follows:
And there we have it, the Magic A Word — “amnesty” the feared and loathed synonym for any consideration of potential citizenship as applied by the troglodytes of the Right, in the language of Limbaugh, Hannity, and the nativist bigots of the white nationalist stripe. Those holding a protest at Heck’s office in Las Vegas got The Treatment, as described and linked by Nevada Progressive. What conclusion might we draw, other than to observe that Representative Heck equates comprehensive immigration policy reform as “amnesty,” and those who advocate for it are “trespassers” and “takers?”
Representative Heck might want to take another look at the numbers before using the “A-Word” again. For example, while persons of Hispanic descent make up about 15.1% of our national population, NV District 3 has a 21.3% Hispanic population. While the Asian population of the U.S. is 4.5%, NV District 3 has an 8.4% Asian descent population. [NYT] He might also want to remember that as of 2007 approximately 8.1% of Nevada’s businesses were owned by individuals who self identify as Hispanic. [Census]
The hardline, calcified, anti-immigration nativism as exemplified by the use of the A-Word, will cost the nation, and this state, business expansion and JOBS. Not only does this position not make any moral sense, it’s economically non-nonsensical. The confrontation we should be discussing should be about how to promote business and entrepreneurship in Nevada — not how to sound “tough on takers.”