Subject: Bank of America
Everyone needs to read this.
Bank of America, can I help you?
Customer: Yes, I want to cancel my account. I don’t want to do business with you any longer.
The Bank: Why?
Customer: You’re giving credit to illegal immigrants and I don’t think it’s right. I’m taking my business elsewhere.
The Bank: Well, Mr. Customer, we don’t want to see you do that, but we can’t stop you. I’ll help you close the account. What is your account number?
Customer: (gives account number)
The Bank: For security purposes and for your protection, can you please give me the last four digits of your social security number?
The Bank: Mr. Customer, I need to verify your information, but in order to help you, I’ll need verification of who you are.
Customer: Why should I give you my social security number? The reason I’m closing my account is that your bank is issuing credit cards to illegal immigrants who don’t have social security numbers. You are targeting that audience and want their business. Let’s say I’m an illegal immigrant and you’ve given me a credit card. I have a question about it and call for assistance. You wouldn’t be asking me for a Social Security number, would you?
The Bank: No sir, I wouldn’t.
Customer: Why not?
The Bank: Because you would have pressed ‘2’ to speak in Spanish. We don’t ask for that information when calling in on the Spanish line.
I provided “snopes” for doubters: http://www.snopes.com/politics/immigration/bankofamerica.asp
Now I hope the following 14 reasons are forwarded over and over again until they are read so many times that the reader gets sick of reading them. I have included the URL’s for verification of the following facts.
1. $11 Billion to $22 billion is spent on welfare to illegal aliens each year. http://tinyurl.com/zob77
2. $2.2 Billion dollars a year is spent on food assistance programs such as food stamps, WIC, and free school lunches for illegal aliens. http://www.cis.org/articles/2004/fiscalexec.html
3. $2.5 Billion dollars a year is spent on Medicaid for illegal aliens. http://www.cis.org/articles/2004/fiscalexec.html
4. $12 Billion dollars a year is spent on primary and secondary school education for children here illegally and they cannot speak a word of English! http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0604/01/ldt.0.html
5. $17 Billion dollars a year is spent for education for the American-born children of illegal aliens, known as anchor babies. http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0604/01/ldt.01.html
6. $3 Million Dollars a DAY is spent to incarcerate illegal aliens. http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0604/01/ldt.01.html
7. 30% percent of all Federal Prison inmates are illegal aliens. http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0604/01/ldt.01.html
8. $90 Billion Dollars a year is spent on illegal aliens for Welfare & social services by the American taxpayers.
9. $200 Billion Dollars a year in suppressed American wages are caused by the illegal aliens.
10. The illegal aliens in the United States have a crime rate that’s two and a half times that of white non-illegal aliens. In particular, their children, are going to make a huge additional crime problem in the US http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0606/12/ldt.01.html
11. During the year of 2005 there were 4 to 10 MILLION illegal aliens that crossed our Southern Border also, as many as 19,500 illegal aliens from Terrorist Countries. Millions of pounds of drugs, cocaine, meth, heroine and marijuana, crossed into the U. S from the Southern border.Homeland Security Report: http://tinyurl.com/t9sht
12. The National Policy Institute, “estimated that the total cost of mass deportation would be between $206 and $230 billion or an average cost of between $41 and $46 billion annually over a five year period.” http://www.nationalpolicyinstitute.org/pdf/deportation.pdf
13. In 2006 illegal aliens sent home $45 BILLION in remittances back to their countries of origin. http://www.rense.com/general75/niht.htm
14. “The Dark Side of Illegal Immigration: Nearly One Million Sex Crimes Committed by Illegal Immigrants In The United States “. http://www.drdsk.com/articleshtml
The total cost is a whooping . $ 338.3 BILLION DOLLARS A YEAR
If this doesn’t bother you then just delete the message, but on the other hand, if it does raise the hair on the back of your neck, then forward it to every human in the country including every representative in Washington , DC for four times a week, for a month.
God Bless You And Yours and God Bless, this country, what’s left of it !
The High Cost of Cheap Labor
Illegal Immigration and the Federal Budget
This study is one of the first to estimate the total impact of illegal immigration on the federal budget. Most previous studies have focused on the state and local level and have examined only costs or tax payments, but not both. Based on Census Bureau data, this study finds that, when all taxes paid (direct and indirect) and all costs are considered, illegal households created a net fiscal deficit at the federal level of more than $10 billion in 2002. We also estimate that, if there was an amnesty for illegal aliens, the net fiscal deficit would grow to nearly $29 billion.
Among the findings:
Households headed by illegal aliens imposed more than $26.3 billion in costs on the federal government in 2002 and paid only $16 billion in taxes, creating a net fiscal deficit of almost $10.4 billion, or $2,700 per illegal household.
Among the largest costs are Medicaid ($2.5 billion); treatment for the uninsured ($2.2 billion); food assistance programs such as food stamps, WIC, and free school lunches ($1.9 billion); the federal prison and court systems ($1.6 billion); and federal aid to schools ($1.4 billion).
With nearly two-thirds of illegal aliens lacking a high school degree, the primary reason they create a fiscal deficit is their low education levels and resulting low incomes and tax payments, not their legal status or heavy use of most social services.
On average, the costs that illegal households impose on federal coffers are less than half that of other households, but their tax payments are only one-fourth that of other households.
Many of the costs associated with illegals are due to their American-born children, who are awarded U.S. citizenship at birth. Thus, greater efforts at barring illegals from federal programs will not reduce costs because their citizen children can continue to access them.
If illegal aliens were given amnesty and began to pay taxes and use services like households headed by legal immigrants with the same education levels, the estimated annual net fiscal deficit would increase from $2,700 per household to nearly $7,700, for a total net cost of $29 billion.
Costs increase dramatically because unskilled immigrants with legal status — what most illegal aliens would become — can access government programs, but still tend to make very modest tax payments.
Although legalization would increase average tax payments by 77 percent, average costs would rise by 118 percent.
The fact that legal immigrants with few years of schooling are a large fiscal drain does not mean that legal immigrants overall are a net drain — many legal immigrants are highly skilled.
The vast majority of illegals hold jobs. Thus the fiscal deficit they create for the federal government is not the result of an unwillingness to work.
The results of this study are consistent with a 1997 study by the National Research Council, which also found that immigrants’ education level is a key determinant of their fiscal impact.
A Complex Fiscal Picture
Welfare use. Our findings show that many of the preconceived notions about the fiscal impact of illegal households turn out to be inaccurate. In terms of welfare use, receipt of cash assistance programs tends to be very low, while Medicaid use, though significant, is still less than for other households. Only use of food assistance programs is significantly higher than that of the rest of the population. Also, contrary to the perceptions that illegal aliens don’t pay payroll taxes, we estimate that more than half of illegals work “on the books.” On average, illegal households pay more than $4,200 a year in all forms of federal taxes. Unfortunately, they impose costs of $6,950 per household.
Social Security and Medicare. Although we find that the net effect of illegal households is negative at the federal level, the same is not true for Social Security and Medicare. We estimate that illegal households create a combined net benefit for these two programs in excess of $7 billion a year, accounting for about 4 percent of the total annual surplus in these two programs. However, they create a net deficit of $17.4 billion in the rest of the budget, for a total net loss of $10.4 billion. Nonetheless, their impact on Social Security and Medicare is unambiguously positive. Of course, if the Social Security totalization agreement with Mexico signed in June goes into effect, allowing illegals to collect Social Security, these calculations would change.
The Impact of Amnesty. Finally, our estimates show that amnesty would significantly increase tax revenue. Because both their income and tax compliance would rise, we estimate that under the most likely scenario the average illegal alien household would pay 77 percent ($3,200) more a year in federal taxes once legalized. While not enough to offset the 118 percent ($8,200) per household increase in costs that would come with legalization, amnesty would significantly increase both the average income and tax payments of illegal aliens.
What’s Different About Today’s Immigration. Many native-born Americans observe that their ancestors came to America and did not place great demands on government services. Perhaps this is true, but the size and scope of government were dramatically smaller during the last great wave of immigration. Not just means-tested programs, but expenditures on everything from public schools to roads were only a fraction of what they are today. Thus, the arrival of unskilled immigrants in the past did not have the negative fiscal implications that it does today. Moreover, the American economy has changed profoundly since the last great wave of immigration, with education now the key determinant of economic success. The costs that unskilled immigrants impose simply reflect the nature of the modern American economy and welfare state. It is doubtful that the fiscal costs can be avoided if our immigration policies remain unchanged.
The negative impact on the federal budget need not be the only or even the primary consideration when deciding what to do about illegal immigration. But assuming that the fiscal status quo is unacceptable, there are three main changes in policy that might reduce or eliminate the fiscal costs of illegal immigration. One set of options is to allow illegal aliens to remain in the country, but attempt to reduce the costs they impose. A second set of options would be to grant them legal status as a way of increasing the taxes they pay. A third option would be to enforce the law and reduce the size of the illegal population and with it the costs of illegal immigration.
Reducing the Cost Side of the Equation. Reducing the costs illegals impose would probably be the most difficult of the three options because illegal households already impose only about 46 percent as much in costs on the federal government as other households. Thus, the amount of money that can be saved by curtailing their use of public services even further is probably quite limited. Moreover, the fact that benefits are often received on behalf of their U.S.-citizen children means that it is very difficult to prevent illegal households from accessing the programs they do. And many of the programs illegals use most extensively are likely to be politically very difficult to cut, such as the Women Infants and Children (WIC) nutrition program. Other costs, such as incarcerating illegals who have been convicted of crimes are unavoidable. It seems almost certain that if illegals are allowed to remain in the country, the fiscal deficit will persist.
Increasing Tax Revenue by Granting Amnesty. As discussed above, our research shows that granting illegal aliens amnesty would dramatically increase tax revenue. Unfortunately, we find that costs would increase even more. Costs would rise dramatically because illegals would be able to access many programs that are currently off limits to them. Moreover, even if legalized illegal aliens continued to be barred from using some means-tested programs, they would still be much more likely to sign their U.S.-citizen children up for them because they would lose whatever fear they had of the government. We know this because immigrants with legal status, who have the same education levels and resulting low incomes as illegal aliens, sign their U.S.-citizen children up for programs like Medicaid at higher rates than illegal aliens with U.S.-citizen children. In addition, direct costs for programs like the Earned Income Tax Credit would also grow dramatically with legalization. Right now, illegals need a Social Security number and have to file a tax return to get the credit. As a result, relatively few actually get it. We estimate that once legalized, payments to illegals under this program would grow more than ten-fold.
From a purely fiscal point of view, the main problem with legalization is that illegals would, for the most part, become unskilled legal immigrants. And unskilled legal immigrants create much larger fiscal costs than unskilled illegal aliens. Legalization will not change the low education levels of illegal aliens or the fact that the American labor market offers very limited opportunities to such workers, whatever their legal status. Nor will it change the basic fact that the United States, like all industrialized democracies, has a well-developed welfare state that provides assistance to low-income workers. Large fiscal costs are simply an unavoidable outcome of unskilled immigration given the economic and fiscal realities of America today.
Enforcing Immigration Laws. If we are serious about avoiding the fiscal costs of illegal immigration, the only real option is to enforce the law and reduce the number of illegal aliens in the country. First, this would entail much greater efforts to police the nation’s land and sea borders. At present, less than 2,000 agents are on duty at any one time on the Mexican and Canadian borders. Second, much greater effort must be made to ensure that those allowed into the country on a temporary basis, such as tourists and guest workers, are not likely to stay in the country permanently. Third, the centerpiece of any enforcement effort would be to enforce the ban on hiring illegal aliens. At present, the law is completely unenforced. Enforcement would require using existing databases to ensure that all new hires are authorized to work in the United States and levying heavy fines on businesses that knowingly employ illegal aliens. Finally, a clear message from policymakers, especially senior members of the administration, that enforcement of the law is valued and vitally important to the nation, would dramatically increase the extremely low morale of those who enforce immigration laws.
Policing the border, enforcing the ban on hiring illegal aliens, denying temporary visas to those likely to remain permanently, and all the other things necessary to reduce illegal immigration will take time and cost money. However, since the cost of illegal immigration to the federal government alone is estimated at over $10 billion a year, significant resources could be devoted to enforcement efforts and still leave taxpayers with significant net savings. Enforcement not only has the advantage of reducing the costs of illegal immigration, it also is very popular with the general public. Nonetheless, policymakers can expect strong opposition from special interest groups, especially ethnic advocacy groups and those elements of the business community that do not want to invest in labor-saving devices and techniques or pay better salaries, but instead want access to large numbers of cheap, unskilled workers. If we choose to continue to not enforce the law or to grant illegals amnesty, both the public and policymakers have to understand that there will be significant long-term costs for taxpayers.
Overall Approach. To estimate the impact of households headed by illegal aliens, we rely heavily on the National Research Council’s (NRC) 1997 study, “The New Americans.” Like that study, we use the March Current Population Survey (CPS) and the decennial Census, both collected by the Census Bureau. We use the March 2003 CPS, which asks questions about income, household structure, and use of public services in the calendar year prior to the survey. We control total federal expenditures and tax receipts by category to reflect actual expenditures and tax payments. Like the NRC, we assume that immigrants have no impact on defense-related expenditures and therefore assign those costs only to native-headed households. Like the NRC, we define a household as persons living together who are related. Individuals living alone or with persons to whom they are unrelated are treated as their own households. As the NRC study points out, a “household is the primary unit through which public services are consumed and taxes paid.” Following the NRC’s example of using households, many of which include U.S.-citizen children, as the unit of analysis makes sense because the presence of these children and the costs they create are a direct result of their parents having been allowed to enter and remain in country. Thus, counting services used by these children allows for a full accounting of the costs of illegal immigration.
Identifying Illegal Aliens in Census Bureau Data. While the CPS does not ask respondents if they are illegal aliens, the Urban Institute, the former Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS), and the Census Bureau have used socio-demographic characteristics in the data to estimate the size and characteristics of the illegal population. To identify illegal aliens in the survey, we used citizenship status, year of arrival in the United States, age, country of birth, educational attainment, sex, receipt of welfare programs, receipt of Social Security, veteran status, and marital status. This method is based on some very well-established facts about the characteristics of the illegal population. In some cases, we assume that individuals have zero chance of being an illegal alien, such as naturalized citizens, veterans, and individuals who report that they personally receive Social Security benefits or cash assistance from a welfare program or those who are enrolled in Medicaid. However, other members of a household, mainly the U.S.-born children of illegal aliens, can and do receive these programs. We estimate that there were 8.7 million illegal aliens included in the March 2003 CPS. By design, our estimates for the size and characteristics of the illegal population are very similar to those prepared by the Census Bureau, the INS, and the Urban Institute.
Estimating the Impact of Amnesty. We assume that any amnesty that passes Congress will have Lawful Permanent Residence (LPR) as a component. Even though the President’s amnesty proposal in January seems to envision “temporary” worker status, every major legalization bill in Congress, including those sponsored by Republican legislators, provides illegal aliens with LPR status at some point in the process. Moreover, Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry has indicated his strong desire to give LPR status to illegal aliens.
To estimate the likely impact of legalization, we run two different simulations. In our first simulation, we assume that legalized illegal aliens would use services and pay taxes like all households headed by legal immigrants with the same characteristics. In this simulation, we control for the education level of the household head and whether the head is from Mexico. The first simulation shows that the net fiscal deficit grows from about $2,700 to more than $6,000 per household. In the second simulation, we again control for education and whether the household head is Mexican and also assume that illegals would become like post-1986 legal immigrants, excluding refugees. Because illegals are much more like recently arrived non-refugees than legal immigrants in general, the second simulation is the more plausible. The second simulation shows that the net fiscal deficit per household would climb to $7,700.
Results Similar to Other Studies. Our overall conclusion that education level is the primary determinant of tax payments made and services used is very similar to the conclusion of the 1997 National Research Council report, “The New Americans.” The results of our study also closely match the findings of a 1998 Urban Institute study, which examined tax payments by illegal aliens in New York State. In order to test our results we ran separate estimates for federal taxes and found that, when adjusted for inflation, our estimated federal taxes are almost identical to those of the Urban Institute. The results of this study are also buttressed by an analysis of illegal alien tax returns done by the Inspector General’s Office of the Department of Treasury in 2004, which found that about half of illegals had no federal income tax liability, very similar to our finding of 45 percent.
Although the United States’ welfare rolls are already swollen, every year we import more people who wind up on public assistance: immigrants. Many immigrants are poor; indeed, that is why they come here. The immigrants we admit are much poorer than the native population and are increasing the size of our impoverished population. As a result, the share of immigrant households below the poverty line (18 percent) is much higher than the share of native households that are poor (11 percent)—nearly twice as high. And immigrant households are more likely to participate in practically every one of the major means-tested programs. Immigrant use of welfare programs (21 percent) is 43 percent higher than non-immigrants’ use (15 percent).1
Each year, state governments spend an estimated $11 billion to $22 billion to provide welfare to immigrants.2
Why Are Immigrants On Welfare?
Some people mistakenly think that immigrants are not eligible for welfare. Several years ago, Congress did attempt to render immigrants ineligible for most forms of welfare. However, subsequent backpedaling by Congress and the executive branch has undone most of those reforms. Furthermore, many immigrant families get welfare through the eligibility of their U.S. citizen children. (It is also important to realize that even when immigrants are ineligible for federal welfare programs, the burden of their support is simply shifted over to the state and local welfare agencies.)
Refugees, asylees, and all amnestied illegal aliens are exempt from the public charge requirement.3 Congress has decided that the American people will serve as the sponsors for these immigrants and pick up the tab for their support.
All other immigrants must pass a public charge test and have a U.S. sponsor or sponsors willing to pledge their income to support them. Before a potential immigrant receives an immigration visa, American consular officers are supposed to evaluate whether he or she is likely to become a public charge, and, if so, to deny the visa. The consular officer is supposed to take into account a variety of factors: the amount of support the sponsor can give, the resources and skills of the applicant, and any special conditions (such as age or infirmity) that might affect the applicant’s need for support. The Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 set the new legal standard for the evaluation: the sponsor of the applicant must have an annual income of at least 125 percent of the federally designated poverty level. There are several problems with this standard:
- The sponsorship income level, only 25 percent higher than the poverty level, is so low that it does not prevent immigrants from going on welfare; in fact, it almost guarantees it. Say a sponsor begins with an income of 200 percent of poverty level and is, therefore, not considered “legally poor.” But after splitting that income with the immigrant, each will be at 100 percent of the poverty level. Where before we had one non-poor person, now we have two poor people. Since eligibility for some welfare programs kicks in before one’s income drops to 125 percent of poverty level, immigrants can easily wind up on welfare.
- While immigrants who receive welfare can be deported for violating the conditions under which they were admitted, this provision is rarely enforced; in fact, only twelve people have been deported under this provision since 1980.4 Administrative rulings have held that an immigrant cannot be held responsible for receiving welfare unless the welfare agencies have sent the immigrant a bill for their services, demanded payment, and been refused payment.5 Since welfare agencies do not do this, it is virtually impossible for an immigrant to be charged with violating the public charge provisions that can lead to deportation.
- Furthermore, numerous forms of welfare are not considered under the public charge test, including food stamps, pre-natal care, nutrition programs, housing assistance, energy assistance, job training programs, child care services, free or reduced school lunch, public shelters, health clinics, Medicaid, and any cash welfare programs that are not the family’s sole source of income.6 This insulates immigrants from being considered public charges unless they are completely dependent on welfare.
What Types of Welfare Are Immigrants Eligible For?
As of the 1996 welfare reform bill, the following applies to eligibility for federal and state funded welfare programs:
- Legal immigrants are barred from all federal means-tested public benefits for five years after entering the country and barred from SSI and food stamps until citizenship. They are also barred from all federal means-tested public benefits for five years.7
- Benefits available to immigrants include school lunch and breakfast programs, immunizations, emergency medical services, disaster relief, and others programs that are necessary to protect life and safety as identified by the attorney general, regardless of immigration status.8
- Illegal immigrants are barred from the following federal public benefits: grants, contracts, loans, licenses, retirement, welfare, health, disability, public or assisted housing, post secondary education, food assistance, and unemployment benefits. States are barred from providing state or locally funded benefits to illegal immigrants unless a state law is enacted granting such authority.9
Welfare Reform Failed to Solve the Problem
Despite expectations that the 1996 welfare reform bill would cause significant changes in immigrant welfare use, it has actually remained at the same level. The 1996 welfare reforms failed because while the legislation cut immigrants off from certain welfare programs, the savings that resulted from those cuts were not high enough to offset the increased usage of the remaining programs, due to the continuing high number of immigrants entering the U.S. every year.
While both Temporary Aid to Needy Families (TANF) and food stamp use have declined by four percent, the decline did not result in any significant savings, as those costs were offset by increases in Medicaid use, which has increased among immigrant households. The total combined value of benefits and payments received by immigrant households from welfare programs remained almost the same, averaging almost $2,000 in 2001, about 50 percent higher than natives. Such high rates of immigrant welfare use, combined with the rapidly increasing immigrant population, has resulted in a four percent increase in the number of immigrant households on welfare, from 14 percent in 1996 to 18 percent in 2000.10
Outlook for the Future
The highest welfare use rates for immigrants are in New York (30 percent), California (28 percent), Massachusetts (25 percent), and Texas (25 percent).12
Immigrants are eleven percent of our population, but they are 20 percent of the poor population. Unless our immigration policies are reevaluated and changed accordingly, welfare usage and subsequent costs will remain high.
Instead of addressing the problem, some in Congress have suggested measures that would make it even worse, such as proposals to increase immigrants’ eligibility for benefits. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that making legal immigrants eligible for Medicaid and the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) would cost an estimated $2.24 billion over ten years.11
If we are to have any hope of reducing poverty in the U.S., our immigration laws must be revised and returned to the sensible practice of excluding aliens who are likely to become public charges and to deport those who do.
You have got to be kidding me. Obama wants to spend $900 million of taxpayer money to strengthen Gaza. Gaza is run by Hamas, an organizaton whose objective it is to eradicate Isreal from the face of the earth…
Ok, let me rephrase. We are going to give $900 million to an area which is totally controlled by an organization which is committed to wiping Israel off of the face of the earth?I guess it was to be expected, afterall, Gaza was a hotbed of Obama support…
Either way, help, my country has been hijacked… AP
The United States plans to offer more than $900 million to help rebuild Gaza after Israel’s invasion and to strengthen the Western-backed Palestinian Authority, U.S. officials said on Monday.
The money, which needs U.S. congressional approval, will be distributed through U.N. and other bodies and not via the militant group Hamas, which rules Gaza, said one official.
“This money is for Gaza and to help strengthen the Palestinian Authority. It is not going to go to Hamas,” said the official, who asked not to be named as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton planned to announce the funding at a donors’ conference in Egypt next week.
Neither the United States nor Israel have direct contact with the Islamist Hamas movement which runs Gaza and remains formally committed to the destruction of the Jewish state.
The official said the pledge was a mix of money already earmarked for the Palestinians and some new funding.
“The package is still shaping up,” he said, when asked for specifics over how the money would be spent and a breakdown of old and new funding.
In December, the former Bush administration said it would give $85 million to the U.N. agency that provides aid to Palestinian refugees in the West Bank, Gaza, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria.
The March 2 donors’ conference in Egypt’s Sharm el-Sheikh resort aims to raise humanitarian and rebuilding funds for Gaza after Israel’s invasion last December to suppress rocket fire against its cities.
Preliminary estimates put damage from the offensive, in which 1,300 Palestinians died, at nearly $2 billion.
Clinton’s bid to get “substantial” funds could face an uphill battle in Congress because Hamas continues to rule Gaza and the U.S. focus is on its own souring economy.
U.S. to Give $900 Million in Gaza Aid, Officials Say
WASHINGTON — The Obama administration intends to provide some $900 million to help rebuild Gaza after the Israeli incursion that ended last month, administration officials said Monday.
In an early sign of how the administration plans to deal with Hamas, the militant Islamist group that controls Gaza, an official said that the aid would not go to Hamas but that it would be funneled through nongovernmental organizations.
By seeking to aid Gazans but not Hamas, the administration is following the lead of the Bush administration, which sent money to Gaza through nongovernmental organizations. In December, it said it would give $85 million to the United Nations agency that provides aid to Palestinian refugees in the West Bank, Gaza, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria.
The United States considers Hamas a terrorist organization, and the Bush administration refused to have any formal dealings with the group.
The aid will include new spending as well as money already set aside for the Palestinian Authority, and it will be formally announced next week when Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton travels to a Palestinian donors’ conference in Sharm el Sheik, Egypt, the officials said.
The aid, first reported by Reuters, would have to be approved by Congress, where many lawmakers are skittish about even appearing to help Hamas until it renounces violence and recognizes Israel’s right to exist.
“None of the money will go to Hamas, it will be funneled through NGOs and U.N. groups,” said an administration official, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk about the aid before Mrs. Clinton announced it.
The donors’ conference in Egypt is seeking to raise close to $2 billion to rebuild Gaza, which was devastated by the three-week war with Israel. Some of the $900 million from the United States will go to the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank, officials said.
But even if the bulk of the money goes to Gaza, it will do little good unless Israel first opens the border crossing into the territory, said Daniel Levy, a senior fellow at the Century Foundation, a research organization in Washington.
“It’s a good effort, but the money can’t be spent unless materials can get into Gaza,” Mr. Levy said. “The next step is opening the border crossings, and that requires more than just signing a check.”
Hamas has demanded the opening of the crossings as part of truce negotiations being conducted through Egypt. Israel, which imposed an embargo after Hamas seized control of Gaza in 2007, demands an end to rocket fire from Gaza, a halt to weapons smuggling and the release of a captive Israeli soldier.
After the donors’ conference in Egypt, Mrs. Clinton will make her first trip to Israel as secretary of state, Israeli officials said. She is expected to meet with Benjamin Netanyahu, the prime minister-designate.
Mrs. Clinton is also expected to travel to Ramallah in the West Bank for meetings with Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, and Salam Fayyad, the prime minister, whose Fatah organization is the principal rival to Hamas. Administration officials said it was unlikely that Mrs. Clinton would go to Hamas-controlled Gaza.
The year is 1907…..but the speaker knew what he was talking about. READ PRINT UNDER PICTURE
Theodore Roosevelt’s ideas on Immigrants and being an AMERICAN in 1907.
“In the first place, we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin. But this is predicated upon the person’s becoming in every facet an American, and nothing but an American…There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn’t an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag… We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language… and we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people.”
Theodore Roosevelt 1907