Editorial: New Deportation Policy Has Human, Fiscal Cost

May 2, 2017. An editorial discusses the deportation case of Martin Martinez, an undocumented immigrant who has lived in the U.S. for 30 years, has a working permit, but also has two drunken driving convictions from over a decade ago. The author discusses sanctuary cities and argues how they try to distinguish between serious and minor crimes, and that new deportation policies make it difficult to fight crime. In the article, the author also argues that there are human and fiscal costs, and cites FPI’s and ITEP’s co-released report on DACA recipients tax contributions.

That’s why police in Newburgh and other cities that have embraced the notion of offering sanctuary have tried to make a distinction between serious crimes and dangerous criminals on the one hand and those like Martinez on the other. But no matter how well they explain their approach, they know that each deportation makes it that much harder for them to get the kind of information they need to solve and prevent crimes, information that can only come from the immigrant community which now has one less reason to trust any authorities.

And if that is not enough, consider another cost, not a human one but a financial one.

Just this week the Fiscal Policy Institute and the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, two nonpartisan organizations that regularly analyze the fiscal implications of public policies, calculated something that often goes unnoticed — the economic contribution of these facing deportation.

Those undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as youngsters and have been shielded thus far from deportation pay $140 million in state and local taxes in New York. Add all those across the nation and the figures rises to $2 billion.

Here is the link to the Times Herald-Record.

We Are Moving Toward a Cashless World

May 1, 2017. FPI’s David Dyssegaard Kallick is featured on Fox 5 News discussing the possibility of a “cashless future.” He argues how it is good, it is easier, and how it can help eliminate black market activity and corruption.

The owner of Harlem Pizza Company said the majority of his clients, in fact about 90 percent of them, use credit or debit cards to pay. He said he actually prefers it that way.

“The cash is a burden I think on the merchant because whether it’s the manager or the general manager or the owner, there has to be cash handling, there has to be counting, that cash then has to get deposited into the account,” Alper Uyanik said.

Here is the link to Fox 5 News.

Legal Status for Dreamers Boosts NY Tax Revenue

April 26, 2017. In an article discussing the findings of a 50-state report by The Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy and co-released in New York with FPI, David Dyssegaard Kallick, Director of FPI’s Immigration Research Initiative, was quoted.

The Trump administration is sending mixed messages about whether those granted Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals status by the Obama administration will be deported or allowed to stay and work legally. David Dyssegaard Kallick, director of the Fiscal Policy Institute, said he believes one consideration should be the contributions young immigrants are making, in New York and nationally.

“DACA recipients contribute $140 million to New York state and local tax revenues,” he said. “So, we wanted to show the very substantial contribution of young people who are, in all kinds of ways, making real contributions to the economy and to our state’s society.”

“These are people who are working, they’re people who are going to school, they’re serving in the military,” he said. “Why would we want to be deporting these kids, who grew up side-by-side with my kids in school? It just doesn’t make sense.”

Here is the link to the Public News Service.

Immigrant Youth Add $140 Million to NY State Tax Revenues

April 25, 2017. What will happen to immigrant youth who as children were brought to the United States without legal status and were temporarily shielded from deportation by a 2012 executive order known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA? The Trump Administration is projecting very mixed messages about the present and future of these young people.

To help shed some light on how DACA has allowed these young immigrants to contribute to our country and our state, a new report shows the state and local tax contributions of young people eligible for DACA. The 50-state analysis was conducted by the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, and it is co-released in New York by the Fiscal Policy Institute.

Click here for the New York Press Release.

Click here for the 50-State Report.

Two Tax Code Changes That Could Greatly Benefit Working New Yorkers

Editorial By Ron Deutsch and Reg Foster for New York Nonprofit Media

April 14, 2017

We may see this year, among other surprises from Washington, the first effort in many years to make significant revisions to the tax code. In the last presidential election, all sides expressed concern for the conditions of working Americans who are facing retreating opportunities and wages. We hope for a resurgent economy, but for now, revamping the tax code offers an opportunity to actually help New Yorkers in a way that may attract bipartisan support: tax credits. (read more)

A Gender-Wage War Cuomo Fails to Fight

By , New York Daily News

April 20, 2017

Gov. Cuomo recently announced a comprehensive study of New York’s gender wage gap, including at least four public hearings to develop recommendations for tackling this problem.

We appreciate the sentiment, but if the governor truly wants to address this issue, he should start in his backyard — by looking at his own policies of setting wages barely above the poverty line for social assistance workers under contract with New York State.

Through these contracts, the state is responsible for setting the wages for hundreds of thousands of workers who deliver critical programs — including homeless services, mental health care and elder assistance.

Human services workers are overwhelmingly women (more than 80%) and heavily women of color (44% of the total). And they are some of the lowest-paid workers in New York’s economy.

The Restore Opportunity Now campaign, a coalition of more than 340 nonprofit organizations across the state, recently released a report showing human services have been one of the leading job growth sectors in New York’s economy over the past several decades, particularly in economically stagnant areas of the state.

This sector accounted for 21% of all private job growth in the suburbs and upstate from 1990 to 2016. But despite being well-educated, this workforce earns only 40% of the average for all workers in New York.

According to an analysis by the Fiscal Policy Institute, 50% to 75% of human services workers in New York are paid less than $15 an hour, a greater share than in all other industries. (read more)

Medicaid Supports New York’s Schools and Children

For immediate release:
April 20, 2017
Contact:
Ron Deutsch, Executive Director, Fiscal Policy Institute
518-786-3156 (o), 518-469-6769 (c)
Christy DeBoe Hicks, State Communications Specialist, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities
(202) 408-1080; cdhicks@cbpp.org

 Medicaid Supports New York’s Schools and Children

House Republican Plans to Cut Medicaid Would Jeopardize Critical Health Services for Students

[Albany, NY] – New York’s schools receive over $273 million from Medicaid each year, according to data released by the Washington, DC-based Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. This funding pays for medical services for Medicaid-eligible students with disabilities, such as mental health and speech therapy. It also covers vision and dental screenings provided in schools to Medicaid-eligible children, and helps schools connect low-income children to other health care services that aren’t provided in schools, but are critical to a child’s development.

“Medicaid plays a little known but important role in supporting New York State’s schools and making sure children in our schools, especially those with disabilities, get the care and services they need,” said Ron Deutsch, Executive Director of the Fiscal Policy Institute.

House Republicans continue to pursue the American Health Care Act (AHCA), however, to replace the Affordable Care Act passed during the Obama administration. As it stands, the AHCA would cut federal Medicaid funding by $839 billion over the next decade. In addition to putting health care at risk for millions of Americans, these efforts would jeopardize critical health-related services for school-aged children and put an important source of funds for schools and states at risk.

In its current form, Medicaid provides affordable and comprehensive health care coverage for millions of seniors, people with disabilities and children across the country, including over 2.5 million children in New York State alone. Medicaid also provides funding to help schools pay the salaries of health care and other staff who provide important services to students, not just those with Medicaid coverage. In fact, in 2017, 68 percent of school superintendents reported that they used Medicaid funding to keep school nurses, school counselors, speech therapists, and other health professionals on staff.

Any cuts to Medicaid could jeopardize the benefits these health care professionals provide.

Moreover, Medicaid funding cuts could squeeze New York’s education budget, impeding efforts to help schools implement proven reforms such as hiring and retaining excellent teachers, reducing class sizes, and expanding the availability of high-quality early education —vital components to helping all children thrive in school.

“Without the support they get from Medicaid, many schools throughout New York would struggle to afford keeping nurses and counselors on staff, struggle to give students with disabilities the services they need and are entitled to receive, and struggle to provide basic screenings for Medicaid-eligible children,” said Deutsch. “Policymakers in Washington should protect Medicaid – not cut it.”

To learn more about how Medicaid helps schools, please visit: http://www.cbpp.org/research/health/medicaid-helps-schools-help-children

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The Fiscal Policy Institute (www.fiscalpolicy.org) is an independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit research and education organization committed to improving public policies and private practices to better the economic and social conditions of all New Yorkers.

Still Time to Enact Economic Transparency Measures

By John Kaehny, Commentary

More information: John Kaehny is Executive Director of Reinvent Albany. Also contributing to this article were Ron Deutsch, Executive Director of the Fiscal Policy Institute, and Dave Friedfel, Director of State Studies for the Citizens Budget Commission.

Albany Times Union, Published 6:00 pm, Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Last week, the state Legislature approved Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s request to spend about $6.5 billion on a grab bag of economic development projects and business tax breaks — more than three times what the state will spend on clean drinking water. Unfortunately, left out of the budget were common sense transparency and accountability measures that are badly needed to ensure economic development funding is easy to track, and that projects are a good investment for taxpayers.

The governor and lawmakers should be feeling significant pressure to enact meaningful reforms. This is the first state budget since nine people — including top aides to the governor — were arrested last October for allegedly rigging $800 million in upstate economic development funds. (read more)

Viewpoints: Like Google, Apple and Uber? Thank an Immigrant

April 14, 2017. In an article highlighting the significant contributions that immigrants make to the economy through business ownership, the author discusses their role in the creation of fortune 500 companies as well as small businesses. This article cites a co-released report by the Americas Society/Council on the Americas and the Fiscal Policy Institute, Bringing Vitality to Main Street.

Just consider: Of the Fortune 500 companies, 90 were founded by immigrants, a 2011 report showed.

And it’s not just the billion-dollar blockbuster companies that are making an outsized contribution to U.S. competitiveness.  Small business and entrepreneurship – the backbone of the U.S. economy – also have immigrant founders.

Yet another report published in 2015 by the nonprofit, nonpartisan Americas Society/Council on the Americas, in cooperation with the Fiscal Policy Institute, shows that immigrants comprise 28 percent of Main Street business owners in the U.S. – the small businesses that provide services and products to our local communities.

Here is the link to azcentral.

City Plans Hearing To Crack Down on Employers Taking Advantage Of Immigrants

April 11, 2017. An article featured in Crain’s New York Business draws attention to the hearing scheduled for April 25, at 6:30 p.m. at LaGuardia Community College’s Little Theater, where wage theft, discrimination, scheduling problems, health and safety hazards, access to paid sick leave, and freelancer payment problems will be addressed and how the city government can help to protect workers against these issues. The article argues that employers are using the fear created by immigration policies to take advantage of their workers. This article cites FPI’s report, Working For A Better Life.

Citing “the shifting priorities in Washington. D.C.,” city agencies will solicit ideas for how to protect immigrant workers against employers that might be taking advantage of a climate of fear surrounding the Trump administration’s increased deportation efforts, according to a notice in the City Record.

Immigrants comprise around 47% of the city’s 3.9 million labor force. About a tenth of the city’s workforce is estimated to be residing in the United States illegally, according to an analysis from the Pew Research Center prepared for the Fiscal Policy Institute.

Employers are also worried that the federal crackdown on unauthorized workers could hurt their businesses. Many in the restaurant industry were “deeply concerned” about President Donald Trump’s January executive order vastly broadening deportation priorities, New York Hospitality Alliance executive director Andrew Rigie told Crain’s soon after it was signed. But local industries most affected, including service and construction, have been hesitant to weigh in publicly…

Here is the link to Crain’s New York Business.

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