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Open letter to readers: Today and tomorrow

By Lynda Waddington | 11.17.11

Wednesday was a difficult day for The American Independent News Network, which is the larger entity that operates The Iowa Independent. Our chief executive and founder announced two of our sister sites would close and their content would be moved to The American Independent.

ACS lockout continues; plan emerges to repeal sugar protections

By Virginia Chamlee | 11.15.11

A recently introduced bill could have far-reaching impact on the U.S. sugar industry, including American Crystal Sugar, a farmer-owned cooperative that locked out 1,300 Midwest workers on Aug. 1.

Cain campaign: Farmers know more about regulations than EPA

By Andrew Duffelmeyer | 11.15.11

The chairman for Herman Cain’s Iowa effort says the campaign “relied more on the word of farmers than Washington regulators” in deciding to run an ad containing claims the Environmental Protection Agency says are false.

Mathis wins, Democrats maintain Senate control

Liz Mathis
By Lynda Waddington | 11.08.11

The Iowa Senate will remain under the control of a slim 26-25 Democratic majority when it reconvenes in January 2012.

Press Release

PR: Nation should work to address veterans’ challenges

By Press Release Reprints | 11.11.11

BRUCE BRALEY RELEASE — As US involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan ends, it’s more important than ever that our nation works to address the challenges faced by the men and women who fought there.

PR: Honoring veterans, help in hiring

By Press Release Reprints | 11.11.11

CHUCK GRASSLEY RELEASE — A difficult job market is challenging the soldiers, sailors and airmen who have protected America’s interests by serving in the Armed Forces.

PR: In honor of America’s veterans

By Press Release Reprints | 11.11.11

TOM LATHAM RELEASE — No one has done more to secure the freedom enjoyed by every single American than our veterans and those currently serving in the armed services.

PR: Honoring and supporting our nation’s veterans

By Press Release Reprints | 11.11.11

DAVE LOEBSACK RELEASE — Veterans Day is an opportunity to reflect on the service of generations of veterans and to honor the sacrifices they and their families have made so that we may live in peace and freedom here at home.

Reynolds backs denying education to illegal immigrants

By Matt Vasilogambros | 09.07.10 | 7:00 am

Republican lieutenant governor candidate Kim Reynolds said Saturday that children who are undocumented immigrants should be denied access to public education. But she stopped short of offering a specific plan on how to make that policy a reality.

Kim Reynolds (photo by Dave Davidson,

Reynolds was asked about immigration policy while attending the annual Latino Heritage Festival in Des Moines. Her running mate, former Gov. Terry Branstad, recently told WHO-AM’s Jan Mickelson that the 1982 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Plyer v. Doe­ — which said the children of illegal immigrants must be allowed access to public education — should be overturned.

While discussing the issue on Saturday, Reynolds said she agrees with Branstad’s position but would not go as far as to say that they would act directly against the law as it stands if they are elected this fall.

“Well, the Supreme Court has ruled, so that we need to operate within the law – what the law is right now – but would probably disagree with that and look at maybe changing that, or working towards it,” she said in an interview with The Iowa Independent. “But right now it is the law and we need to go by what the law is.”

The Washington, D.C., news site Politico recently said Branstad’s position on immigration “goes further than other GOP candidates” around the country. It appears only Tom Tancredo, a third-party gubernatorial hopeful in Colorado and former presidential candidate, has gotten on board with Branstad’s position, saying that if elected he would ignore the ruling in order to push the issue back to the Supreme Court in hopes of reversing the decision.

Reynolds was hesitant to go as far as Tancredo, making it clear she and Branstad are still in the process of reviewing the law.

“Well, I think we’ll take a look at it, move through one step at a time,” she said. “That’s where we’re going to start. We’re going to review it and possibly take a look at it.”

Opponents of Branstad’s position say withholding things like basic education, police protection and emergency health care to any segment of society has ripple effects for everyone. They also decry punishing children for the actions of their parents. When asked specifically about children’s welfare, Reynolds noted the necessity of promoting legal immigration and border enforcement.

“I think what we need to do is enforce the existing laws on the books, the federal government needs to step up and enforce the existing laws – they’re not doing that,” she said. “So, we need to start there. We need to enforce the borders and then we need to move forward with legal immigration and really support those who are getting here legally. And then we need to take a look at increasing the number of visas, or streamlining that process. So, we really can do it the right way and make sure that people who are here legally and so their children, they can be proud of that. And so that’s where I’d like to put my efforts.”

Many festival attendees of Latino decent were not receptive to the message promoted by Reynolds and others at the Republican Party of Iowa booth. Diana Pauley, of Des Moines, said that as a granddaughter of Mexicans who immigrated to California in the 1920s, she was offended by the Republican stance on immigration.

“My parents got to go to school,” she said. “My parents got to do everything that everybody else got to do. My parents paid taxes; my grandparents paid taxes, everything. So, they have their rights too, and that was in the 1920s. They weren’t told to go back. They weren’t told that my parents couldn’t go to school. That was way back then. No, we can’t do that.”

Although agreeing with Republicans that the U.S.-Mexican border should be shut down in a safe way, Des Moines resident Pedro Parada went as far as to say that denying education to children of illegal immigrants was inhumane.

“I believe we are all humans,” he said. “Education, it’s a public right. It’s for everybody. If you think about Hispanics, we’re a big minority in the United States. So, if you’re going to deny education to our minority, you’re going to lack a future. I mean we’re the future. We’re the fastest growing minority group in the U.S.”

The State Data Center of Iowa estimates there were around 126,000 people of Latino decent in Iowa as of July 2008, about 4.2 percent of the state’s total population.

Parada said that he felt the Latino push from the Iowa GOP was in vain since Latino voters are less likely to vote Republican.

“Most of us are not Republican,” he said. “Because the Republicans, for the most part, they are the ones against that, against immigration and immigration reform.”

Both Pauley and Parada said this issue is one of the main reasons they and other Latinos would vote for incumbent Democratic Gov. Chet Culver in November.

Republicans, however, are not ready to surrender the Latino vote, showing up in force at the Latino Heritage Festival hoping to reach out and convince Latinos they have a place in the Republican Party. In fact, this is the third ethnic festival in recent weeks where Republicans have made a strong showing, Polk County Republican Party Chairman John Bloom said, as the party makes an effort to court minority voters.

Bloom told The Iowa Independent that it has become apparent that ethnic minorities have not been voting for Iowa Republicans. That is why, as a key element of the party’s action plan, they have labeled minority outreach as one of their priorities.

“We feel that we should have the same percentage of Latinos or African Americans or Asians that hold those same values,” he said. “It seems to be working pretty well; we’re getting a very good reception.”

Latino Resources – the group that hosted the festival – does not take positions on political candidates, executive Director Joann Mackey said, adding further that any candidate can make an appearance if he or she chooses.

“Latino Resources welcomes everybody, we never endorse anybody,” she said. “We have a longstanding policy that we will not endorse any candidate. We love everybody.”

Although the Iowa Democratic Party was not present at the festival on Saturday, Culver reportedly attended the event after Labor Day events across the state. The Culver campaign used the event as an opportunity to criticize Branstad’s positions on both the education for children of illegal immigrants and his support for the controversial Arizona law, calling the Republian’s views “extreme.”


  • Stephan

    Non-citizens, for their part, contributed $28.9 billion, or eight percent of Arizona’s

    economic output, resulting in 278,000 full-time equivalent jobs. Their output included

    $10 billion in labor income, and $3.3 billion in other property income. The state tax

    revenues resulting from this economic activity were approximately $1.08 billion.

    They also looked at what would happen if the illegal workers were removed from the


    Agriculture: A fifteen percent workforce reduction in the agriculture sector would

    result in direct losses of 3,300 full-time-equivalent jobs, and losses of $600.9

    million in output including lost labor income of $198.6 million, and lost other

    income of $116.1 million. The lost direct state tax revenue would be approximately

    $24.8 million. Construction: A fifteen percent workforce reduction in the construction

    sector would result in direct losses of 55,700 full-time-equivalent jobs, and $6.56 billion

    in output including lost labor income of $2.59 billion and $450.5 million in other lost income.

    The direct lost state tax revenue would be approximately $269.2 million. Manufacturing: A ten

    percent reduction in the manufacturing workforce would result in direct losses of 12,300

    full-time-equivalent jobs, and $3.77 billion in output including lost labor income of

    $740.8 million, and lost other income of $286.1 million. The lost direct state tax revenue

    would be approximately $104.4 million. Service industries: In the service sectors analyzed,

    a sixteen percent reduction in the labor force would translate to direct losses of 54,000

    full-time equivalent-jobs, and lost output of $2.48 billion including reduced labor income

    of $901.3 million, and reductions in other income of $273.0 million. The lost direct state

    tax revenue would be approximately $156.9 million.

    I hope Governor Napolitano is realizing what a mistake she made pandering to the bigots.

    The study concluded that the state of Arizona took in tax revenue of $1.64 billion from

    immigrant workers while the amount the state spent on immigrants was approximately $1.41

    billion leaving a net benefit of $222.6 million to the state coffers. But that is only

    what they contribute to Arizona’s revenue. They also pay national income taxes and social

    security taxes.

  • Stephan

    How illegal immigrants are helping Social Security

    By Edward Schumacher-Matos

    Friday, September 3, 2010

    The contributions by unauthorized immigrants to Social Security — essentially, to the retirement income of everyday Americans — are much larger than previously known, raising questions about the efforts in many states and among Republicans in Congress to force these workers out.


    • The patch in our safety net

    • Peter Galuszka: Virginia's immigration Know-Nothings

    In response to a research inquiry for a book I am writing on the economics of immigration, Stephen C. Goss, the chief actuary of the Social Security Administration and someone who enjoys bipartisan support for his straightforwardness, said that by 2007, the Social Security trust fund had received a net benefit of somewhere between $120 billion and $240 billion from unauthorized immigrants.

    That represented an astounding 5.4 percent to 10.7 percent of the trust fund's total assets of $2.24 trillion that year. The cumulative contribution is surely higher now. Unauthorized immigrants paid a net contribution of $12 billion in 2007 alone, Goss said.

    Previous estimates circulating publicly and in Congress had placed the annual contributions at roughly half of Goss's 2007 figure and listed the cumulative benefit on the order of $50 billion.

    The Social Security trust fund faces a solvency crisis that would be even more pressing were it not for these payments.

    “If for example we had not had other-than-legal immigrants in the country over the past,” Goss e-mailed me, “then these numbers suggest that we would have entered persistent shortfall of tax revenue to cover [payouts] starting [in] 2009, or six years earlier than estimated under the 2010 Trustees Report.”

    Americans are faced with the difficult choice of cutting pensions, delaying the retirement age or raising taxes if we want to maintain the solvency of what has been the centerpiece of social welfare for ordinary Americans since the 1930s.

    Legal immigrants are also net contributors to the pensions of the rest of us because they are relatively young as a group. But the benefit we receive from unauthorized immigrants carries special irony. Immigration restrictionists in Arizona, Virginia, Texas and almost every state in the country are pushing bills and local ordinances to force them out by making it difficult to get jobs, rent apartments, send their children to college or drive cars.

    • CarlaCherise

      Give me a break. Did you or Goss consider the types of jobs illegals are doing? They are not just working in the fields any longer. Many work in construction and street repair and landscaping and so on. These are jobs that Americans are not doing because the employers can pay the illegals below market pay levels. So, as I see it, much less is paid into Social Security and the tax coffers had the work been done by legal workers. Call them what you will — “other than legal immigrants”, “unauthorized” — they have no legal right to be here and therefore, no legal right to work here; taking jobs and income away from those “authorized” to work in this country. You can't look at one side because money would have flowed into Social Security no matter who was doing the work.

  • Stephan
  • get_involved

    Of course she is right. Educating illegals is costing us BILLIONS of dollars.

    Get involved with a MILLION other people. HERE'S HOW:

    • Gleneagles

      If you think education is expensive, try ignorance. This issue is not your real motive, is it?

      • PostTosties

        Try DEPORTATION. These people have a homeland. They should be stopped
        from taking advantage of ours!

  • PostTosties

    Please write and support Kim Reynolds! She is right on denying benefits to illegal aliens. Our Schools belong only to American students.
    Enough of this BS.

  • not_buyin_it

    Seems to always be the case, liberals can not separate the phrases “IMMIGRANT” from “ILLEGAL ALIEN”. Nowhere in this article did it say denieing an education to “immigrants”, it said ILLEGAL ALIEN children… there is a difference.

    Remember in November!

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