Dr. Greg Brock from Georgia Southern University's School of Economic Development was Monday’s guest on the “Mornings unPHILtered” program.
Brock recently returned from the Universidad Veracruzana in southern Mexico, where he went as a Fulbright Scholar. He spent three weeks working with college professors and teachers to bring age appropriate economic education to children in kindergarten through twelfth grade.
Brock started off by telling host Phil Boyum that before going to Mexico it was hard getting the necessary paperwork. He said that Mexico also has an illegal immigration problem like the United States, and officials are very careful about granting visas to work.
Brock said that until the recession illegal immigrants from Mexico would do jobs that most Americans weren't willing to take. Now, more Americans are willing to do the lesser jobs, so there is some competition for them from Americans.
Many Mexicans came here with legal visas, but when they expired they remained in this country – illegally, Brock said. The H1 visas that many foreigners receive are limited by Congress, and there has been a move to get more H1 visas approved for skilled workers to come to the U.S.
He said that many Mexican citizens who come to America are that nation’s best and brightest. They give their all to their employers, and they come north to make a living for their families.
Brock said it is a myth that illegal immigrants pay no taxes. Anyone who buys goods in the U.S. pays sales tax. Also, unless employers are breaking the law and don’t pay Social Security or Medicare taxes, illegal immigrants pay into the Social Security and Medicare systems, Brock said.
Every year, illegal immigrants pay more than $7 billion in Social Security and $1.9 billion in Medicare for benefits that they can never use.
He shared his opinion that there is no way to send all the millions of Mexican illegal immigrants back home.
Brock visited the Universidad Veracruzana with a visit to Xalapa, the capital of Veracruzana Province, in 2007. He used his experiences during that visit to apply for and earn a Fulbright Specialists Program grant in Economics.
In Mexico, he attended a conference on economics, worked on developing his Spanish, and worked on keeping the North American Mobility grant (issued by the US State Department) which helps Mexican students come to the US.
Brock said he expects some of the Universidad Veracruzana students will enroll in Georgia Southern online courses, such as their WEBMBA courses in Applied Economics, which does not require being on the GSU campus.
Brock said he is also looking forward to members of the Veracruzana faculty visiting GSU in the future and to his next visit to Veracruzana.
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