Wire firm a force in debate over immigration
MEXICO CITY - Every two weeks, Nayeli Toxqui pushes her baby stroller down Insurgentes Avenue, past the whizzing taxis and the wheezing buses, and joins a line of people near a yellow-and-black Western Union sign.
"I'm picking up money from my husband in Chicago," she said one recent morning, peering at the cashier's booth dispensing money at the back of the Elektra appliance store. "I don't work, so you could say I depend on la Western."
So do millions of other families and their migrant relatives. And in turn, Western Union depends on them, as it rides a 10-year wave of immigration to record-high profits.
So perhaps it is no surprise that the world's biggest money-transfer company and its parent firm, First Data Corp., are quietly becoming a force in the debate over illegal immigration and border security.
In recent years, Denver-based First Data has openly campaigned for immigration reform, which could legalize millions of undocumented workers, and has created a $10 million "Empowerment Fund" for the same purpose.
It has held seminars on migration law, published how-to guides for migrants, sponsored English classes, given money to a charity that helps Mexican women whose husbands are in the United States, and showered immigrant-sending communities with aid.
First Data has stepped up its political donations in recent years. It also "directly, actively" fought against Arizona's Proposition 200, a First Data official told the Mexican Senate in 2004.
Critics accuse the company of encouraging immigrants, both legal and illegal. Supporters say the company is just trying to connect with customers, and that First Data's actions have little effect on migration.
Uhhh, yeah, if you guys weren't doing everything in your power to aid and abet I might even believe your bullshit!
Here's the key graf and how you know their lying through their Cappucino stained teeth...
But an independent Western Union will be entirely dependent on money transfers, and on the migrants who send them.Oh, what's this? Your business couldn't survive without illegal immigration? Well you can kiss my fat white ass! If that's the case maybe you need to go out of business or find a client base that isn't, you know...ILLEGAL!!!
First Data declined to comment for this article, but in news releases, company Web sites and speeches, its officials have touted the company's recent activism.
Other wire-transfer companies have ramped up their migrant outreach efforts, too. But none has invested as much money and energy as First Data, or taken as direct a role in the immigration debate.
"They do support immigration reform for instrumental reasons - or you can use a more crude word, for opportunistic reasons," said Manuel Orozco, an expert on remittances at the Inter-American Dialogue, a think tank.
"But there is also a genuine reality: the money-transfer companies work face to face with migrants, and they understand their needs. (First Data feels) that they have to have a position on this, and it would be hypocritical to stay quiet and let things happen."
As Kathy Griffith would say "A tear?"
This is the real enemy of immigration reform, always has been. When average Americans were begging Congress to slow or stop immigration in the early part of the century fat cat tycoons would buy Congresscritters and laugh as Americans were devestated by foolish and out of control immigration. The ultimate insult was when these obscenely rich asshats would lecture American citizens that it was "Un-American" to want immigration controlled for the good of the American people.
More than anything or anybody else, these businesses who profit from illegal aliens need to be exposed for thier willingness to sell out this country for their personal gain. I'm truly sorry they can't exist without illegals, but no business has a mandate from god to continued existance. Sometimes businesses die, and sometimes that's a good thing.
Overheard at a lobbyist meeting..."But you can't enforce bank robbery laws! My business depends on bank robbers!"