The first local WE project art installation is set to be unveiled on Friday, October 19th, at 5PM in downtown Columbia. It is a 10 by 14 feet banner of one of the project's pictures. This
exhibit could not have been possible without the generous support of
700 Cherry Inc., and Sarah Dresser, of the Office of Cultural Affairs at the
City of Columbia, and of the countless people who stand behind this
project. But most of all this installation could not have existed without the help and enthusiasm of Staci Lea Linthacum, John Hooker, Lisa Braman Bartlett and Kristin Nies, who worked hours to set it up, drove across town on various errands, offered countless advice, tolerated my incessant fretting and questions, and cheered. Thank you.
MYTH: Immigrants are a drain on our social services. FACT: By paying taxes and Social Security, immigrants contribute far more to government coffers than they use in social services.
In its landmark report published in 1997—arguably the most thorough national study to date of immigration’s fiscal impacts—the National Research Council (NRC) of the National Academy of Sciences concluded that on average, immigrants generate public revenue that exceeds their public costs over time—approximately $80,000 more in taxes than they receive in state, federal and local benefits over their life times.1 This same conclusion was reached in 2007 by the Council of Economic Advisers in their report to the Executive Office of the President where they state that “the long-run impact of immigration on public budgets is likely to be positive,” and agree with the NRC report’s view that “only a forward-looking projection of taxes and government spending can offer an accurate picture of the long-run fiscal consequences…
This is the first installment of Once Upon a Time in Mexico: Ana's Story, a long-term story that will be published in the News Section of the WE project's website. It is about a the life of a Mexican-American immigrant living in a small town in the Heartland of the United States.
On a frigid Saturday morning in February, Ana, a twenty-six-year-old woman whose family came over from Mexico without immigration documentation when she was eight, is making pancakes for her partner, Victor, and their two-year-old son, Alexander Xavi, whom they call simply Xavi (pronounced SHAW-vee), before Victor goes off to work and Ana runs errands around town, as Xavi hops on a blue tricycle and barrels through the kitchen and living room, which is bare except for the kind of modern-style furniture you’d find at an Ikea store, a wooden coffee table, a light-tone fabric chair and an undersized sofa that sits under a single narrow shelf decorated with family pictures, mostly of Xavi, the only persona…