"The Fastest Way To [profit from illegal immigration]"

FirstData is the parent company of Western Union, and they're now a major processor of credit card transactions in addition to their original business of money transfer.

As described here (rmpn . org/weblog/archives/permalink/002096.cfm), they've also decided to attempt to unseat U.S. Rep. Tom Tancredo (house . gov/tancredo/Immigration), who represents the district in Colorado where their headquarters are based.

They've been in the news recently because of this article: "Heckling, fistfight mar forum on immigration" (denverpost.com/Stories/0,1413,36~53~2289288,00.html):
Organizers who brought together a panel of national experts for a forum on immigration reform sponsored by First Data Corp. on Thursday night billed the event as way to foster dialogue on a critical policy issue...

Halfway through, a fistfight broke out, and police arrested a woman friends described as a Hispanic activist after she struck a heckler on the head.

"All the other events have been perfectly calm," said Wendy Carver-Herbert, a slightly shaken First Data Corp. vice president, referring to similar panels in Washington and Chicago.

"We intended this to be a very thought-provoking forum on an important topic that needs to be debated," she said...

...critics blamed the organizers for staging a forum they said was one-sided and shut out the opinion of immigration opponents...
In February, First Data held a "debate" moderated by former CNN Washington Bureau Chief Frank Sesno. The panelists were:
Harry Pachon, president, Tomas Rivera Policy Institute * Cecilia Munoz, vice president, National Council of La Raza (NCLR) * Arturo Vargas, executive director, National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Educational Fund (NALEO) * Sal Gomez, board member, Denver Hispanic Chamber of Commerce * Raul Hinojosa, Ph.D, North American Integration & Development Center/UCLA * Robert Deposada, president, The Latino Coalition
Doesn't sound like there was much debate involved.

They've also created a $10 million "Empowerment Fund," as described in "First Data/Western Union and Latino Advocacy Organizations Call For Action on Immigration Reform" (news.firstdata . com/media/ReleaseDetail.cfm?ReleaseID=130012)

But, the bottom line is the bottom line here.

At their site, First Data provides the article "The Fastest Way To Make Money" (firstdata . com/news_article.jsp?nID=1859) from Time Magazine:
About 100 miles south of Mexico City, in a valley framed by towering pre-Columbian ruins, sits Coatetelco, population 15,000, which has a beauty parlor but no bank. A few people grow maize, chilies and fruit, but remittances--mostly from agricultural or construction workers in Georgia and the Carolinas--account for a staggering 90% of the villagers' incomes. Patricio, 49, who stopped working in the U.S. three years ago, says sending money to Coatetelco has become more convenient and less expensive since his return. At the end of each month, he gets a call from his two sons, who are working illegally in Georgia....
Obviously, there's big money in enabling illegal immigration.

Witness the Bush administration trying to continue allowing banks to accept Matricula Consular cards:
Yesterday that amendment was sustained in the full committee by a vote of 26-25, despite major arm twisting by the Bush Administration to remove the provision. Treasury Secretary Snow wrote Appropriations Committee Chair, Rep. Bill Young, "The Administration believes as a general matter that Americans are better protected if consumers of all nationalities are invited into the financial mainstream."
Shouldn't Presidents support our laws, rather than helping them be broken?


A fine compilation of this ongoing betrayal.