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					                                                                        Hill Connections ( — Social Justice: Perspectives on Social Issues

                                                                                                                                                          January 2008
                                                                                                               Immigrants: Myths vs. Reality                           Shareholder Actions for
                                                                                                                •	 “Immigrants Don’t Pay Taxes.	 All	                  Reasonable Executive Pay
                                                                                                                   immigrants	 pay	 taxes,	 whether	 in-                  “CEOs	make	179	times	as	much,	
                                                                                                                   come,	 property,	 sales,	 or	 other.	 As	
     Institute for Peace and Justice graphic; used with permission..

                                                                                                                                                                       on	 average,	 as	 rank	 and	 file	 work-
                                                                                                                   far	 as	 income	 tax	 payments	 go,	 im-
                                                                                                                   migrants	pay	between	$90	and	$140	
                                                                                                                                                                       ers,	 double	 1994’s	 90-to-1	 ratio,	
                                                                                                                   billion	a	year	in	federal,	state,	and	lo-           according	 to	 a	 recent	 study	 by	 the	
                                                                                                                   cal	taxes....                                       Congressional	Research	Service.	If	
                                                                                                                •	 The U.S. Is the Primary Destination
                                                                                                                                                                       you	 get	 irritated	 by	 news	 of	 lavish	
                                                                                                                   for the World’s Refugees and Immi-                  CEO	and	top	executive	pay	packag-
                                                                                                                   grants.	Of	the	estimated	175	million	               es,	you	are	not	alone.	A	June	2007	
Benedictines Going Green                                                                                           migrants	 in	 the	 world	 in	 2002,	 the	           Bloomberg/L.A.	 Times	 poll	 found	
   “Last	 spring,	 Portsmouth	 Ab-                                                                                 U.S.	 accounted	 for	 less	 than	 1	 per-           that	81	percent	of	Americans	think	
bey	School	in	Rhode	Island	held	a	                                                                                 cent	or	about	1.4	million,	both	legal	              CEO	pay	is	too	high.	And	the	per-
major	 conference	 on	 wind	 energy	                                                                               and	illegal....                                     ception	 of	 inequity	 is	 only	 magni-
just	one	year	after	installing	a	sleek,	                                                                        •	 Most Immigrants Cross the U.S. Bor-                 fied	 when	 stock	 option	 windfalls	
Danish-made,	 164-foot,	 660	 kilo-                                                                                der Illegally through Mexico.	Around	               and	big	bonuses	are	driven	by	lay-
watt	wind-powered	generator	on	its	                                                                                75	 percent	 of	 all	 immigrants	 have	             offs	and	outsourcing.
                                                                                                                   entered	 the	 U.S.	 legally	 with	 visas;	
property.	The	school,	run	by	Bene-                                                                                 of	 those	 that	 are	 undocumented	 in	                CBIS	 and	 our	 Interfaith	 Center	
dictine	 monks,	 collaborated	 with	                                                                               the	 U.S.,	 two	 out	 of	 five	 have	 sim-          on	Corporate	Responsibility	(ICCR)	
the	Rhode	Island	Economic	Devel-                                                                                   ply	 overstayed	 their	 original	 visas.	           colleagues	 advocate	 for	 more	 rea-
opment	 Corporation,	 which	 pro-                                                                                  Of	those	who	enter	the	U.S.	illegally,	
                                                                                                                                                                       sonable	 executive	 compensation	
motes	 wind	 power	 throughout	 the	                                                                               only	about	40	percent	cross	the	bor-
                                                                                                                   der	from	Mexico....                                 through	shareholder	dialogues,	me-
state	as	a	non-fossil	fuel	source	and	
                                                                                                                                                                       dia	outreach,	and	by	evaluating	and	
pitched	 in	 $450,000	 for	 the	 proj-                                                                          •	 There Are More Immigrants Com-
                                                                                                                                                                       voting	 proxies	 at	 more	 than	 1,000	
ect.	The	turbine	project	exemplifies	                                                                              ing into the U.S. Now than a Century
                                                                                                                   Ago.	Actually,	 the	 percentage	 of	 the	           domestic	 and	 international	 compa-
how	church	and	state	can	cooperate	
                                                                                                                   U.S.	 population	 that	 is	 foreign-born	           nies	 each	 year.	 We	 support	 execu-
for	the	common	good.
                                                                                                                   now	 stands	 at	 less	 than	 12	 percent,	          tive	compensation	plans	only	under	
   The	Benedictines	have	been	‘go-                                                                                 compared	 to	 15	 percent	 in	 the	 early	          the	following	circumstances:
ing	green’	for	a	long	time.	In	1997	                                                                               20th	century....
                                                                                                                                                                         •	 They	 spread	 benefits	 of	 corporate	
the	 sisters	 at	 Sacred	 Heart	 Monas-                                                                         •	 Immigrants Are Here to Take Advan-                       success	 widely	 throughout	 the	 com-
tery	 in	 Richardton,	 North	 Dakota,	                                                                             tage of the U.S. Welfare System.	Most	                   pany.
learned	that	their	state	has	the	great-                                                                            immigrants	 today	 come	 to	 work	 and	
                                                                                                                                                                         •	 They	 reward	 excellence	 and	 align	
est	wind-energy	potential	of	all	the	                                                                              to	 be	 reunited	 with	 family	 members,	
                                                                                                                                                                            management	 and	 shareholder	 inter-
                                                                                                                   just	as	they	did	a	hundred	years	ago....
contiguous	 states.	The	 sisters,	 who	                                                                                                                                     ests.
operated	 a	 nursing	 home,	 a	 retire-                                                                         •	 Immigrants Send their Money Out of
                                                                                                                                                                         •	 Pay	 does	 not	 exceed	 what	 a	 fair-
                                                                                                                   the Country and Are a Drag on the
ment	 home	 and	 a	 llama	 farm	 on	                                                                                                                                        minded	 person	 would	 consider	 rea-
                                                                                                                   U.S. Economy.	 Most	 of	 the	 income	
their	50	acres,	paid	high	utility	bills.	                                                                          earned	by	immigrants	is	spent	on	liv-
So	 they	 installed	 two	 small	 wind	                                                                             ing	expenses	in	the	U.S....                           •	 Compensation	 committee	 members	
turbines	 and	 realized	 immediate	                                                                                                                                         are	independent	directors.”
                                                                                                                •	 Immigrants Depress Wages.	 Immi-
savings.	 Currently,	 the	 semi-clois-                                                                             gration	 has	 widespread	 helpful	 ef-                               “SRI Issue Brief: Executive Pay,”
tered	Benedictine	Sisters	of	Perpet-                                                                               fects	on	the	economy	and	may	cause	
                                                                                                                                                                                              Principles, CBIS, Q3 2007.

ual	Adoration	 of	 Clyde	 Monastery	                                                                               wages	 to	 rise,	 because	 immigrant	
in	rural	Missouri	are	erecting	a	289-                                                                              labor	 does	 not	 substitute	 for	 native-
foot	wind	turbine	on	their	property	                                                                               born	labor,	but	complement	it....”
to	help	an	energy	cooperative.”                                                                                     “Immigration 101 -- Myth vs Reality” compiled by
                                                                                                               John Peck, WNPJ Network News, Wisconsin Network
                                                                       “Eco-Benedictines,” Current Comment,                  for Peace and Justice, Sept/Oct, 2007.
                                                                                       America, Oct 1, 2007.
Corporate Soldiers Changing Face of Warfare                                                               Americans Part of Global Coalition for Good
   “By	waging	a	war	with	corporate	soldiers,	the	United	                                                     “Americans	are	ambassadors	of	goodwill,	no	longer	
States	is	changing	the	face	of	warfare,	Jeremy	Scahill,	                                                  content	to	let	Washington	alone	define	our	nation’s	links	
[author	 of	 the	 New	 York	 Times	 bestseller,	 Blackwa-                                                 to	 the	 world.	 Dr.	 Tabin	 [an	 accomplished	 American	
ter: The Rise of the World’s Most Powerful Mercenary                                                      ophthalmologist],	and	his	colleagues	honed	their	tech-
Army.]	 Alongside	 170,000	 active	 duty	 U.S.	 troops	                                                   niques	 working	 in	 Himalayan	 communities	 in	 Nepal,	
‘there	are	an	incredible	180,000	private	contractors	on	                                                  Tibet,	Bhutan	and	other	parts	of	the	region.	[Physicians	
the	 U.S.	 government	 payroll.	 This	 is	 a	 staggering	 de-                                             for	Peace]	defines	its	mission	not	only	as	offering	medi-
velopment	in	the	history	of	warfare	in	this	country	be-                                                   cal	assistance	but	also	as	building	peace	through	health.	
cause	now	you	don’t	have	a	coalition	of	willing	nations	                                                  One	 of	 the	 world’s	 greatest,	 New	 York	 City	 Ballet’s	
that	are	occupying	Iraq.	You	have	a	coalition	of	billing	                                                 former	principal	dancer	Jacques	d’Amboise,	brings	the	
corporations.	So	the	U.S.	military	is	actually	the	junior	                                                U.S.	to	the	world	and	the	world	to	the	U.S.	by	joining	
partner	in	the	so-called	coalition	that	now	occupies	Iraq;	                                               kids	in	the	joy	of	music	and	dance.	Geekcorps	is,	well,	
junior	partner	to	a	corporate	army.’                                                                      just	what	it	says.	Its	Internet-age	volunteers	bridge	the	
                                                                                                          digital	divide	one	network	at	a	time	in	the	villages	of	the	
   Not	all	contractors	are	armed,	[according	to	Scahill].	
                                                                                                          low-income	world.
Some	are	truck	drivers	and	cooks,	others	do	the	laundry	
for	the	U.S.	military,	but	‘tens	of	thousands	of	them	are	                                                    British	Prime	Minister	Gordon	Brown	recently	said	
armed	mercenaries	like	those	that	work	for	Blackwater	                                                    at	the	U.N.	that	‘to	address	the	worst	of	poverty,	we	ur-
U.S.A.’	While	Blackwater	touts	itself	as	an	‘all-Amer-                                                    gently	 need	 to	 summon	 up	 the	 best	 efforts	 of	 human-
ican	operation’	the	company	recruits	foreign	nationals.	                                                  ity.’	He	called	for	‘the	greatest	coalition	of	conscience	
‘We’re	 seeing	 a	 total	 blurring	 of	 the	 line	 between	 the	                                          in	pursuit	of	the	greatest	of	causes.’	Americans	from	all	
corporate	army	and	the	nation	state,	and	it	really	poses	a	                                               parts	of	our	society	already	have	their	shoulders	to	the	
significant	threat	to	global	order,’	Scahill	said.”                                                       great	 global	 effort	 to	 end	 extreme	 poverty,	 and	 multi-
                      “Corporate Soldiers Threaten Global Order, Author Says”                             tudes	more	are	ready	to	join.”
                   by Patrick O’Neill, National Catholic Reporter, Oct 12, 2007.
                                                                                                                                        “A Global Coalition of Good” by Jeffrey D. Sachs,
                                                                                                                                      The Power of One, TIME Magazine, Sept 17, 2007.

                                                                     Institute for Peace and Justice graphic; used with permission.

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