Obama’s decision to back away from our government’s policy of ripping apart the families of undocumented immigrants has called forth utterly contradictory responses from Republicans and Democrats, conservatives and progressives. It should now be clear that the two sides don’t see the facts, the law or history in the same way.
Between 10 percent and 30 percent of the undocumented population already pays taxes, so the president’s action could add an additional 70 percent to 90 percent, says Adriana Kugler, a professor at Georgetown’s McCourt School of Public Policy and a former chief economist of the Labor Department.
“They’re legally working, but they’re not citizens, so they're not allowed to actually claim any benefits. So if you get all of the benefits and none of the cost, it's a win-win,” she says.
“People who assume that whatever plan worked for them in the past is the best option for them in the future can sometimes miss out on a chance to get better benefits or save money,” says Jack Hoadley, an analyst and researcher with Georgetown University’s Health Policy Institute.
Adriana Kugler, a former chief economist of the U.S. Department of Labor under the Obama administration and a professor at Georgetown University, said lifting undocumented immigrants into the legitimate workforce would have a significant impact on Social Security’s long-term future.
“The net contribution over the next 30 to 40 years will be very crucial in alleviating the pressure on the system,” said Kugler. “That’s really key because it’s a time when a lot of people will be retiring.”
"Our entire focus for this second open enrollment is to find people without coverage and get them covered," said Mila Kofman, executive director of the Health Benefit Exchange Authority, which oversees D.C. Health Link. More than half of signups on the individual market during the first round of open enrollment came from people who said they were previously uninsured. But otherwise, there's no good data on how many people are uninsured, she said.
Many Democrats quietly concede that the Senate playing field still tilts the Republicans’ way. If Democrats upset expectations, these underappreciated factors will be the reason. If the Republicans prevail, the fact that the election has been so closely fought points to problems that even a victorious GOP will have to confront.
“Our focus has been on reaching small businesses that don’t offer coverage, and that’s been a challenge, trying to make the business case for why they should start offering it,” said Mila Kofman, director of the city’s exchange, called DC Health Link. She noted that her team has partnered with business groups such as the D.C. Chamber of Commerce, the Washington Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and the Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington to reach out to small employers.
The public narrative about work-family balance is too often reduced to quick sound bites and images that communicate a narrow vision of which women deserve attention and what problems they face. The result is a discussion that is at times simplistic and noninclusive—one that leaves out the diverse voices of many women from different backgrounds, particularly women of color, who are grappling with similar problems. This event will bring together experts to discuss how to achieve a more inclusive conversation about work-family conflicts that is reflective of the diverse experiences of all women and what policy solutions are needed to improve the lives of women and their families.
Holzer said that during the 1990s, when the U.S. had full employment, most people taking temporary seasonal jobs for the holidays probably wanted to work short-term to make extra money—either because they were semi-retired, or simply didn't want year-round work. Now, he said, temporary seasonal workers are more likely to be people struggling with unemployment or underemployment.