SENSIBLE IMMIGRATION POLICY (THE MIDDLE WAY)

Today, our immigration attorney, Emilia Ayala,  had the opportunity to appear as a guest on the Mike Madison radio show (WYAB 103.9 FM).  During a one hour interview she was able talk about some of the misinformation and fake news that actually gets in the way of our country’s ongoing efforts to address immigration in a reasonable and cost effective way. From an economic standpoint, the setting of immigration policy will always involve trade-offs — and as with most public policy decisions, there are always winners and losers. But even though our immigration problems remain extremely complex, there are real solutions that make economic sense. The problem at this point is that those solutions are unlikely to occur in today’s polarized political climate. In our view, sensible immigration reform should include: The creation of an an entry-exist system that monitors immigrants both when they come into the U.S. and when they leave. Such a system would most effectively address the problem known “visa overstays” — which include those who simply disappear after overstaying the time limit of their visas. The creation of a procedural pathway which would enable many of the current undocumented immigrants (who are working and do not have criminal records) to obtain legal status and work permits. Mass deportation would present many legal, ethical and moral issues in addition to the fact that it does not make sense from an economic standpoint. This would also allow law-enforcement officials to focus their resources on those who are genuine security or public-safety risks. Improving the existing channels for legal immigration so that they are more in line with...

MISSISSIPPI CROWDFUNDING RULES (INTERNET BASED INVESTING)

Yesterday we had the opportunity to attend the Invest Mississippi Crowdfunding Seminar put on by the Mississippi Secretary of State which went over the new crowdfunding rules set to become effective May 26, 2015. This is important to Mississippian entrepreneurs for a number of reasons. First, the crowd funding rules create new opportunities to cost effectively access equity funding through the internet. Second, while there are still a number of requirements and limitations, this new process is less restrictive and should be a less expensive alternative to federal registration pursuant to Rule 504 of the SEC regulation D, 17 CFR Section 230.504. Third, these new rules are expected to create new investment opportunities for Mississippians looking to invest their money locally. Although the new rules are specifically intended to simplify the procedure for raising smaller amounts, what is small to some is still a lot of money to others. Under the new rules, during any 12-month period a Mississippi business may raise up to $1 million from both residents and non-residents of Mississippi, or up to $2 million by soliciting investments from Mississippi residents only. While new procedure is relatively straightforward, there are a many things that may impact the effectiveness of crowdfunding in your specific situation. For example, there is a requirement that at least 50% of the offering amount must be raised by the deadline stated in the Offering form or the money raised is refunded. Another is the requirement that at least 80% of the funds raised must be used in the State of Mississippi. And perhaps the most significant requirement or limitation deals with advertising...