The Immigration Debate: Bloomberg West (01/28)

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Jan. 28 (Bloomberg) -- Full episode of "Bloomberg West." Guests: Pulitzer Prize-Winning Journalist and “Define American” Founder Jose Antonio Vargas, Founder & President Joe Green, Engineering Student and Undocumented Immigrant Sarahi Espinoza Salamanca, Heritage Foundation Vice President Derrick Morgan and Bloomberg's Sarah Frier. (Source: Bloomberg)

Live from pier 3 in san francisco, welcome to the late edition of "bloomberg west," where we cover the global technology and media companies that are reshaping our world.

I'm emily chang.

Our focus is on innovation, technology, and the future of business.

Let's get straight to the rundown.

President obama is set to deliver his state of the union address in just about three hours.

He will touch on an issue that is near and dear to the technology community and that is immigration reform.

The tech community wants to make it easy for highly skilled workers to stay in the u.s. titans like mark zuckerberg have set up a group called forward u.s. during the show, we get a look at the issue of immigration as it relates to technology and jobs in the technology community.

I would like to introduce my special guest co-foiununder.

You are also a journalist.

Born in the philippines.

You came out as an undocumented immigrant.


You have some in the identifiers in their.

[laughter] who is jose?

I think i discovered in the past that i have no control over what people say.

Activated come activists, whatever -- activist, advocate, whatever.

I think i am a creative disruptor.

That is how i like to think of myself of.

And you are making a movie.


The goal has been to disrupt what people think this issue is.

I have done about 100 90 events in 40 states into an a half years.

Alabama, wisconsin, ohio.

Usually when i come there, they mean, what do you mean that you are not from mexico?

Where not who you think we are.

This is not what you think it is.

People like mark zuckerberg has been so inspired by you that he actually spoke at one of your events.

I profiled mark zuckerberg for the new yorker right around when the movie "the social network" came out.

Six month later, i outed myself as an undocumented citizen.

Tell me about your relationship with mark?

I met him at the white house correspondents dinner when i was a reporter for the washington post and we were introduced.

I made a stupid joke when i saw him.

I ask them, what are your flip- flops or something like that.

That is how i met him.

When i was reporting on the virginia tech massacre, i was fortunate enough to be part of the reporting team that won a pulitzer for covering that.

The only reason i won was because of facebook.

I was one of the few reporters that had a facebook account and was able to contact the victims as it was happening.

Mark sent me a facebook message saying that was a cool use of facebook.

That is how the relationship -- and you had a profile of him in the new yorker.

He had no idea.

Maybe like, 10 people knew.

Mark is a pretty social guy.

He is a social guy.

I remember when we were walking on california ave., he turned around and said, where are you from, jose?

I'm from mountain view that is right next to palo alto, but clearly the answer is much more complicated than that.

I remember looking at him and raising my eyebrow and i kept walking.

I did not answer the question.

I think that is when i realized partly that you cannot even answer a question of where you are from -- yeah.

You came out in a big new york times magazine article.

You are on the cover of time and you have testified before congress.

We are sitting on the ee of the state of the union address -- eve of the state of the unit just.

What do you want to hear?

I think the number one thing is almost 2 million people have gotten deported under the obama administration.

More so than any other president in modern times.

Are you going to keep dividing our families?

When we talk about duplication, we are talking about mothers, fathers, sons, daughters.

-- deportation, we're talking about mothers, fathers, sons, daughters.

How do we move forward in such a way that immigration reform is not just about immigrant tech visas.

It is a much bigger conversation.

Phil mattingly has been cover the upcoming state of union address from d.c. a joins us with more details.

You heard what jose would like to hear, but what will we hear?

It is an interesting spot that the president finds himself in.

The administration are huge supporters of the large-scale immigration reform.

Especially the one the senate passed.

The house is run by republicans and have not come up with their own immigration proposal.

The white house wants to give house speaker john boehner some space.

He will absolutely continue to serve the administrative -- throw the administration's support behind it.

It will be interesting watching him walk that tightrope.

I think i heard a million times the president's approval ratings are the lowest they have been.

How big of a deal is what he is going to say tonight?

This is the start of negotiating with congress for the year.

I think that is right.

The president's aides have made clear that what the president will do is talk about large- scale proposals like tax reform or immigration reform.

You also start laying out putting an agenda that he feels he can accomplish on his own.

Executive actions like we saw.

I think you will see a broad group of things come together tonight.

He is talk about ways he feels he can move forward with congress, especially on things like immigration.

He is also laying out the path forward for democrats in an election year as that 2014 november elections come forward.

He will grab onto some of the house of economic numbers we have seen and he will try to lay out an agenda that appeals to the broader electorate.

How that will go over will be a guest.

White house aides tell me they want this to be a positive speech.

Maybe one that people watch and come away with feeling positive.

We about to speak with the head of forward u.s. this is a group that made a lot of waves when they launched in washington.

What is the feeling of forward u.s. now?

How much progress have been made?

They made a huge difference during the senate debate.

Getting anything through the senate is a huge deal.

The republicans to come onboard and move that forward to secure the votes they needed to pass immigration overhaul.

I think they are in a similar position.

Behind the scenes, they are very affect it.

I think you'll see both members clinging to the tech industry because they like the message that they bring.

They like the support of the tech community.

They have to be careful.

There are house republicans who are wary of the proposal done in the senate.

They are wary of anything that would lead to a path of citizenship.

This group is in a similar position to the white house.

They have a lot of people who are liking what they are doing, but they cannot get to far out in front of where the leadership is.

White house correspondent, still mattingly, thank you.

You not miss our spent -- phil mattingly, mary c. do not miss our coverage of the state of the union address.

? welcome back to "bloomberg west." i am emily chang.

I'm joined by my special guest host, jose antonio vargas.

We also have joel green.

Both of these men have teamed up with facebook's ceo thomas mark zuckerberg.

-- ceo, mark zuckerberg.

Joe, i want to start with you.

I want to find out where forward is now.

Reid hoffman, mark zuckerberg, and others all behind you.

We began this several comprehensive immigration that would conclude with a path to citizenship.

Fix our immigration system to fix our economy.

I know you were mark zuckerberg's roommate in college.

How did this all come together?

How did you come on board?

I come from a hybrid of political and tech backgrounds.

Mark and hoff started getting passionate about this issue.

We were talking for a couple of issues of how the tech community should be involved for political advocacy.

It became clear immigration would come on the national agenda.

We started talking and talk to jose.

There really was a need for a group to come together.

The basic premise is that this is a political challenge.

The politics are challenging.

We graded an organization that is bipartisan and practical and helping members on both sides of the aisle immobilize the tech community.

Maybe we can make a difference.

Talk about the personal challenges.

I want to know where you feel you fit in here caret what is your story?

-- i want to know where you feel you fit in here?

What is your story?

I have been here since i was four.

Being in high school and knowing that i could not get financial aid and go to the college of my dreams because i do not have the money to go was devastating.

A couple of months ago, i launched a website where i plan to help students that are in the same situation that are low income students or undocumented students and help them to find scholarships to go to college.

Do you have a pathway to citizenship right now in terms of the law?

What i have right now is deferred action.

It is a law that obama passed that if you came here as a child and had a clean criminal record, you are allowed to apply for this and get a towo year permit to work and be in the u.s. legally.

And you jose?

I aged out of that action.

Old man.

[laughter] about to be 33. grandpa vargas.

The defense of marriage act ankle he got struck down.

In california and new york am a people like me are allowed to get married.

I'm working on that.

[laughter] i'm excited about that.


Thank you.

There is this talk about skilled workers and how there are not enough engineers to fill up all of these jobs.

What is more important to forward?

More skilled workers?


-- visas?

Or creating a pathway to citizenship?

Pathway to citizenship.

We are at -- we think one of the things that makes us the most entrepreneurial country in the world is that we are a nation of people.

My great grandparents, most of our ancestors would not accept the situation that they had.

We think being a nation of people from all over the world is one of the great strengths of our country.

We believe we should have a system that reflects those values.

Your organization has been rather controversial.

Soemt me tech heavyweights have signed on and then dropped off here it there have been controversy about your tactics.

How do you respond to some of the criticism out there of forward u.s.? we have taken on something that is difficult.

Not everyone will agree with our tactic.

We have been able to create space and show members of congress that there is political support and political support out there.

What we are doing is difficult.

I think the results so far will continue to speak for themselves . 2014 is a year where we can get immigration reform back.

What do you think will happen this year?

Having talked to them before this launch, there has been this misconception about it.

There's a lot of cynicism.

They think we are doing this because it is because of the tech visas.

There was a lot of press about it.

I have to say define america is a campaign we launched.

2014 is like the year of the immigrant ally.

How to put this issue on the lap of the american public?

It is not just a latino or asian issue.

It is an american issue.

What is the likelihood that there really is a comprehensive bill?

We think there is a good shot.

This week we expect the president tonight to talk about immigration reform.

Later in the week, we're hoping to see house speaker john boehner come out with a set of per doubles that the republicans -- set of principles that the republicans tend to pursue.

We think the house can get a series of bills to come together.

We're not concerned about the exact cost us.

We carried that at the end of the day, president obama can sign several are one -- several or one bill.

You have done a dreamer hack- a-thon.

You let them hack their way to a solution to the immigration issue.

What do you want?

What do you want president obama to say tonight?

I want him to say it is time.

The time is now, but nothing has been done.

I want him to say that the time has come.

Something will be done.

That is what we have in wanting to hear.

I hope that is why he will say.

We have been waiting far too long.

Thank you.

We will all be watching what the president says tonight.

We have heard why we need immigration reform.

Hear why some say it is not a good idea next.

? welcome back to "bloomberg west." i am emily chang.

Back again with our special guest co-host, jose antonio vargas.

Not everyone supports amnesty for undocumented immigrants.

Here to weigh the pros and cons of issue is vice president of domestic and economic policy at the heritage foundation.

He is with us from washington, d.c. i know you have been listening to the conversation we have been having.

What is your take?

I think after listening to the conversation, there are areas of common ground.

We support the idea of reforming the legal regression system to make sure businesses have the workers they need and that those are willing to come to the country and play by the rules can get here in a way that makes sense.

We oppose amnesty.

We think it is unfair and costly.

We don't think it will work . what exactly is amnesty to you?

I think amnesty is when you decide that a general law will not be applied in a particular case or in this instance, for about 11 million people who have come or state in the u.s. and allowing them to get citizenship.

That would constitute as amnesty.

To me amnesty connotes this magic wand that says now you are legal.

Is amnesty what you're going for?

People like me have been here for years and have paid taxes for years.

I have been paying taxes since i was 18 and making sandwiches at subway.

It wasn't mentioned in a report that people like me have been paying billions into local and state and national taxes.

I think that is something that is missing in the conversation.

How do you respond to that?

Many of the 11 million undocumented immigrants have been here working and paying taxes.

They work.

Every port -- a report i looked at and the taxes and benefits received by unlawful immigrants, i found that over their lifetime, they would pay about $3 trillion in taxes that state, local, and federal levels, but they would also consume benefits around 90 and dollars.

That is how the number came out.

Many undocumented workers do pay -- came around $9 trillion.

That is how the number came out.

The same guy that wrote the report ended up leaving heritage.

He wrote about that that that in the past, hispanics have lower iqs than whites.

What i want to ask is this -- i am curious, what do you think people like me contribute?

Hang on.

We need to go to a commercial.

I will give you the opportunity to ask.

? this is "bloomberg west," where our focus is on technology and the future of business.

I am emily chang.

We are back with our special guest host, jose antonio vargas.

We are talking about immigration reform.

Also with us is derrick morgan, vice president of the domestic and policy at the heritage foundation.

You asked a question earlier.

What do think undocumented people like me contribute to the economy?

I do not think this is heated.

I love that we are having this conversation.

I'm willing to go to heritage and discuss this more.

Me, too.

Thank you for involving me in this conversation.

Everyone can contribute to the economy.

Our study looked at how the amnesty of 11 million people and how that would affect the taxpayer.

We looked at how much taxes they pay and how much they get in government services and benefits.

It is not because undocumented immigrants are not working or anything like that.

Most of them do work good the fact is that we have a redistributed society.

Payments would be transferred from one person to another.

Today it is about two thirds.

Those who earn less income will pay less in taxes.

Will the solution be for people like me to come forward so we can have higher wage jobs and contribute more to the economy?

Part of the report showed that if you granted legal status, you would increase the wages of undocumented workers.

We included that in our consideration.

After all of that, after you calculate the taxes and benefits and services, comes to a large deficit.

That is one of the reasons we think amnesty is bad.

It is also unfair to those who came to the country legally.

There are about one million people waiting to come into the u.s. there are millions around the world who have a basic respect for our loss.

-- with our laws.

What about those people who are waiting to come here?

I agree with you.

Some of those people are my family members.

If you come from the philippines, india, mexico, you wait many years to come to america.

I would be more than happy to wait in the back of the line somewhere.

What is troubling is you hear so much about a special pass.

We won a process.

-- we want a process.

Right now we do not have that.

We have noise and chaos and politics.

How old were you when your family sent you here?

12. i'm from a filipino family.

We are like the italians of asia.

We have big families.

When did you learn that your undocumented?

-- you were undocumented?

When i applied for a driver's license.

When i gave the green card, that is when she told me it was fake.

This was before google or wikipedia.

There was no dream act.

I thought i was the only non- latino person in the world that did not have the right papers.

People think this is a mexico- latino-brown issue.

Why did your parents and you here?

-- send you here?

My mom wanted me to have a better life.

She sent me to live with my grandparents.

How long have you been here?

20 years this past august.

A film i did goes to alabama and talks about what we were just talking about in terms of what immigration does.

It goes from alabama to iowa where a crash a -- i crash a mitt romney rally.

How would -- do you deal with know your mom is over there?

I'm just one person.

I hear from people from his book all the time that my grandfather died.

I can't go to the funeral.

My mom had to leave the country and now is separated from her kids or whatever.

This is a daily, ubiquitous thing happening.

I personally, that is what this film is about.

A broken immigration system, we can talk numbers, democrats and republicans, and what it means about broken families and broken lives.

When he hears stories like this, how does this impact your position and the kind of reform that you are calling for?

I think jose brought up a couple of good points.

Our legal immigration system does not make a lot of sense.

We have artificial quotas on nations.

He ought to reform that.

He ought to make it more in tune with other nations that have reformed their systems to attract the best and brightest from all over the world no matter which country they come from.

It is things like that i wish we could concentrate on without going to the most difficult cases and try to lump all 11 million together.

Some came as children and some knowingly broke the law.

A small number might have criminal records.

Lumping them together does not make sense.

We want to look for common sense solutions and then deal with more difficult issues later on.

Derrick morgan of the heritage foundation.

Thank you for joining us.

I want to get to phil mattingly.

Thank you.

Phil, what can you tell us?

What we have right now are some experts of what the president will say in his speech.

What you are seeing are a couple of key themes you expected.

On income inequality, he says after four years of economic growth, stock prices have really been hot here.

Those of the top have never done better.

Average wages have barely budged.

Inequality has deepened.

Upward mobility has stalled.

The white house has been clear that income inequality is an issue they want to tackle.

Extension of on a plummet benefits from their policy side perspective, they will pursue that going -- unemployment benefits from the policy side perspective, they will pursue that.

How firm is he in action see can take without congress?

You are seeing what has been telegraphed by aides going forward.

He said executive action is wherever and whenever he can take steps without legislation to expand more opportunities for americans.

That is what he is going to do.

He is going to try to work with congress on some issues.

He is aware in a divided congress with republicans running the house, there is little on his legislative agenda he thinks will be able to get done.

They will look for executive action.

They will look for opportunities on their own to make things happen without republicans.

The publicans are not going to be happy with that idea.

At any time the president acts unilaterally, the opposite party will be upset.

That white house believes this is their path forward.

This is after a year they did not get anything done and constantly bogged down with controversy.

Phil mattingly, mary c. do not miss our coverage of the state of the union address tonight at 9 p.m. eastern time.

We will be right back.

? welcome back to "bloomberg west." i am emily chang.

Marissa mayer has been revealing parts of her turnaround plan in recent months.

She hosted katie couric and da vid poe.

Even celebrities could not hide the decline in yahoo!'s biggest advertising segment.

For more on yahoo!

And worm or a summer i is taking the media division, i want to bring in john ehrlichman in l.a. and bringing in jose antonio vargas.

You, of course, have reported for the new york times, the huffington post.

I want to begin with jon.

Give us your highlights on yahoo!

Numbers today.

I think you saw more of the same.

This is a company that iterates consistently when billion dollars, sometimes more every few months.

You look back over the last few years and that is when you have not seen growth.

There are two takes.

You could say this is a business that has a huge valuable asset in its stake in ali baba.

Without that, we would be asking more questions about the gross story.

The flipside is maybe that is a question for them.

Maybe they can take more risk.

Some might say that marissa mayer is tying a lot of stuff.

Could she be trying more stuff?

Does she have that opportunity?

Talk about the risks.

She is make a wake which and that digital content -- big push into the digital content.

I think it is hard to say.

You are right.

She has made high-profile hires.

That is clearly a step toward trying to make all of this work.

Does having certain people, a few high-profile hires, is a small part of the story.

You need to give people the tools they need to support staff, producers, all the stuff you need to create high content that she is going up against.

It is a significant step.

No doubt about it.

Jose, what do you think about the katie couric hire i yahoo!? what exactly is yahoo!? does it even matter?

It is interesting that marissa has made big hires in the media space.

They just heard -- hired a girl who is a phenomenal editor.

Are they in the news content business?

When did that happen?

I think a lot remains to be seen on where this is going.

It certainly goes toward a trend where we are seeing journalists who have brand names that are taking their audiences with them and not just katie couric and david poe.

You mentioned ezra cody worked with.

We overlapped at the washington post.

He is starting his own thing.

I think he was -- what are your thoughts on this?

What are his chances of success?

I biggest worry here is at the end of the day, all of us in this new age of media we are dealing with, you have to your own institution.

What is that about?

What i find interesting is the move of all of these people.

Will the content be judged?

We know how much ezra klein is worth.

If it is the graphics and all of that stuff, people will think on that.

Or are they clinging to that because it was on the washington post website?

You do nothing automatically he will succeed?

I don't think there is a guarantee on anything.

I do not think there is a guarantee that katie couric will be a hit for yahoo!. i do not think there will be a guarantee that david poe will be bigger at yahoo!


We are in this transition stage i think.

What worries me for journalists themselves is this has become i, me, and i. everyone has a twitter account and youtube and facebook.

Let's talk about that.

I did a big interview with tom perkins yesterday.

Great interview.

I got a lot of coverage nationally and on buzz feed.

Buzz feed posted the 10 most jaw-dropping comments from out of touch millionaires on bloomberg tv.

Publicity is great for us, but is this the fact that content is going in this direction?

Is it a good thing?

I have been a journalist for over a decade.

The two most exciting news organizations are buzz feed and another that came out of nowhere.

There was a book called the filter bubble.

How defensible are these new content models if they can start out of nowhere?

I think that is the exciting part of it.

What is interesting is i was one of the first -- i was at the washington post for several years and i work at the huffington post.

I remember people thought i was crazy to leave the washington post to work for arianna.

Look at where the huffington post is now.

This was pre-aol.

What about the business model?

Is it defensible?

What they have done that is impressive if they have taken advantage of the social platform in a way that a lot of others have it.

They didn't realize the value of what that is.

I gave buzz feed a big lead.

We sometimes talk about the brand and the people and less about the business models.

There is room for only so many advertising supported businesses.

When you get really specific, if the news content is so premium and interesting, even got to think of a subscription model.

If it is something that is going for everybody and their a lot of people competing for it, it is more of an advertising supported business.

It is a difficult and competitive business to be in.

A lot of people think about how we will get paid beyond just what is the brand and how quickly are we growing?

A woman is charging $400 a year for a subscription.

She has got a business there.

Is she has one customer, she is got a business.

Jose antonio vargas, thank you.

John ehrlichman, we will let you go.

Coming up, facebook earnings.

? welcome back to "bloomberg west." i am emily chang.

How much could this hurt facebook business?

For more, i want to ring in my guest and jose antonio vargas who has covered facebook as well.

There was a study that came out that said they spoke has lost 80% of its users.

There is this teen question.

What did they have to prove?

They have to address that on the call.

Our questions on how that will work.

People are dying for more information.

The company mention something new like that in an earnings call, everyone sort of wonders why.

He just said that has been a little less engagement a young -- among younger teens.

This rocketship, facebook, is growing so fast.

Will they die like myspace didn't? -- did?

Do you use facebook a lot?

I can't imagine not using facebook.

I cannot imagine what the undocumented movement would be without facebook.

Facebook or twitter?

Enters the community, facebook.

But twitter, you cannot be a journalist and not be on twitter.

When they drop the teebnn bomb, of course they will drop usage in teens.

You just transition.

If you are young, my nieces like vine and snapchat.

I'm too old for that.

In the last quarter, we found out that they try to buy snap chat.

They will have to adjust this difference of how people want to share.

Teens may not want to be on facebook where their mother is also.

Instagram is popular because they can be wherever they want to be with her smog a group of friends.

People are looking to have their identities through these platforms.

Not only is it ubiquitous, but is central to how we communicate now.

The community is already there.

I remember when zuckerberg was in washington.

He said facebook is -- it is the way my at&t provider is boring.

What about instagram?

Instagram is growing like crazy since it was acquired by facebook.

Will it be a big business?

That remains to be seen.

People have mixed opinions about instagram adding advertising to their platform.

There was a lot of comments on those ads like what is this doing in my feed?

People learned except those things and move on.

They want instagram as a service.

Thank you for giving us an update and a look ahead.

Jose, our tradition is to do a bwest byte, one number that tells a whole lot.

They can number.

11.2. billion.

What is it?

This is the number of taxes, the amount in taxes local, state, and federal that undocumented ebola like me paid in 2010. -- immigrants like me paid in 2010. what would happen if you didn't pay taxes?

Is there a structure to punish you?

Right now there isn't. what is the motivation to pay?

We want to contribute.

The irs does not care whether i have papers.

Do you still worry about getting kicked out or the government coming?

It was in the beginning.

I spent my entire career being afraid of that.

When i let the cat out of the bag, it was amazing.

When that fear was gone, i felt like my life started.

The biggest fear is not having an impact.

How do we preach beyond the choir?

How do engage to party members?

Thank you for sharing your story with us.

Great to have you here.

Thank you for watching this edition of "bloomberg west." ? .

This text has been automatically generated. It may not be 100% accurate.


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