Rick Scott and the Illegal Immigration Money Pipeline

Rick Scott has certainly made a splash in the Florida Governor’s race, and may be about to make an ever bigger one…but not in the same way his multi-million dollar opening media buy did. $300 million dollars will buy a lot, and it looked to me like Rick Scott was doing just that: executing a hostile takeover of the Florida governor’s race. I’ve worked with very wealthy candidates before, and while their resources are a beautiful thing, their business dealings often undo their campaigns.

Now, I’m a raging, confirmed capitalist chick, and I have no problems with Rick Scott making and spending money, but when it comes to a race like this, people ought to ask not only where that $300 million dollars came from (short answer: massive fraud against the taxpayers) but also what Rick Scott did with that golden parachute after HCA kicked him to the curb.

With a little research (thanks, Google!), I found few things that surprised me about his post-HCA investments (more to come) but none more so than Rick Scott’s funding of a company called Emida.

The short story is that Rick Scott invested millions in and profited from Emida, a company ‘that provides services that’ allow foreign workers to send billions of dollars from the U.S. home to Mexico and Latin America. Millions of immigrants, legal and illegal use these services to send billions overseas as remittances. The problem is, companies like Rick Scott’s Emida empower the illegal alien economy, motivating them even more to come to the U.S.

As illegal immigration has been in the news, remittances have become better known. Here’s the deal: Mexico’s economy is run off remittances. Almost a decade ago, Vincente Fox, the then-President of Mexico said remittances “are our biggest source of foreign income, bigger than oil, tourism or foreign investment” … and the problem of illegal immigration has only grown since then.

What’s wrong with that, you ask? First, the Mexican Central Bank says that 83% of the remittances that are sent from the United States come from illegal workers. Rick Scott and Emida aren’t stupid: they should know that the company he set up is a pipeline for illegals to ship money back to Mexico. They should know that the people walking through their doors are are more likely than not here illegally…and many of those illegals are happily collecting government benefits from liberal state governments who turn a blind eye to their status.

First, for a guy who says he’s against illegal immigration, Rick Scott seems to have no qualms funding and profiting from a company that supplies a critical part of the illegal immigration infrastructure.

Emedia looks to me like the Western Union of illegal alien money transfer businesses. Without an easy system for sending money back to Mexico, the friction of being an illegal worker would be dramatically increased. One profile says Emida has over 10,000 locations in Mexico where the money earned by illegals here can be picked up. I’m guessing a part of that money becomes payments to coytotes who smuggle more illegals into the U.S…making the cycle of illegal border-crossing worse.

When Scott’s very rocky record as head of Hospital Corporation of America came to light, I knew he’d have to address the issue, and I admit I gave him grudging credit for taking responsibility for HCA being hit with a $1.7 billion dollar fine for Medicaid Fraud…even though I knew it was just a political line fed to him by his media team.

I wonder if he’ll take responsibility for Emida and the work it does making illegal immigration easier and more convenient than ever?

Most reporters are caught up in the horserace coverage of how much Rick Scott is spending on the Governor’s race to take a hard look at his record. A lot of Republicans were willing to give him a look – even though the Democrats are salivating over running against Scott’s HCA record alone – but I think when even 30 minutes of Google turns up things like Emida, it’s time for reporters in Florida to dig a little harder.