To: Suellen Coleman, Department of Graduate Education & Info Studies
Fm: Olga M. Lazin-Andrei, Visiting Scholar
Application for “UCLA Visiting Scholar Working Title”
Terms of service, in my case:
Appointment as Visiting Scholar in the Department of Graduate Education and Information Studies.
My Qualifications for this position include not one or more but rather all of the following:1
A. an active external grant [or] recent history of external award funding
- internal research funding
- publication of scholarly books, and/or journal articles
- scholarly presentations at professional meetings
My current activities meet all of the above qualifications but I emphasize A and B because they permit ongoing activity beyond three years without interruption, as follows:
My active Research Project on U.S.-Mexico Social Security Problems (faced by Workers and Managers as well as Independent Contractors, including technical experts and consultants) is currently funded each year (since 2003-2004) by the California Legislature (external) and UCOP (internal).
It focuses on American-Mexicans and Mexican persons living in the USA and/or Mexico, whose overpayment of taxes to the Social Security Administration (see Double Taxation below) and benefits due them are frozen by the U.S. Treasury in Washington, D.C, because they are held as “Scrambled Social Security Account Numbers.” These accounts have accumulated since 1937– mostly since the 1960s, and by U.S. law are recoverable if the persons can help unscramble their Social Security number (be it legal or illegal), unify their Social Security Numbers (if they worked under more than one number), and can later prove U.S. legal residency or permission to work.
They must be able to show legal residence or permission to work in the USA. If they cannot show U.S. legal status within three years after filing their tax returns, those funds are permanently lost.
For Social Security, we face four ongoing tasks:
(1) Calculate in an ongoing manner the total changing amount of Mexican individual Social Security funds (which we adjust for inflation) frozen in the U.S. Treasury;
(2) Categorize and analyze the frequently changing Social Security laws and regulations in both countries;
(3) Analyze the processes necessary to Combine Social Security Earnings (“Totalize) Individual Accounts) for persons working in both countries, with benefits paid proportionate to amount of “taxes” paid into the Social Security Administration in each country. Totalization will end the problem faced by persons who can never earn retirement benefits because they do not work in either country long enough to benefit from either System. The USA has Totalization Agreements with all of its major trading partners (24 countries), but not with Mexico—the most important economic partner for the USA and California.
(4) Develop historically consistent proposals needed by Federal and State legislators to work out bi-national policies.
For Double-Taxation Laws and Regulations, my Team and I have been developing the policies needed to advise the Treasuries of both countries, e.g., revision of the Bi-National Double-Tax Treaty to go beyond business to include labor.
For my interlocking research themes covering Social Security and Double-Tax issues, then, if even some of the funds held in Washington, D.C., were to be returned to individuals in Mexico and the USA, either as benefits or tax refunds, families and local economies would be jump started to achieve quantum growth.
The U.S. Government maintains a small number of its Social Security officers in U.S. Consulates throughout Mexico, but they are swamped migrant mexicans who claim they have rights to social security.
What is needed is a corps of attorneys and legal assistants who know the U.S. procedural system to break through the bottlenecks as they help the great number of Mexicans assemble the necessary U.S. forms from their own records or request replacement documents from the USA. Also, outreach programs could be created to advise the massive number of Mexicans who have returned to Mexico negotiate the bureaucratic procedures needed to recover their rightful income earned in the U.S.A.
In the meantime, I have been proposing in Mexico that the major university law schools begin to establish specialties for the development of research and teaching leading to the graduation of lawyers who can help individual Mexicans recover their various funds held by the U.S. Treasury.
Consequently, U.S. Social Security officials in Mexico would be pleased to assist in developing the basis for the training of the corps of attorneys and legal assistants who are needed to help former employees who worked in the USA recover these funds.
A new subset of specialized Mexican attorneys is needed to help the millions of Mexican citizens in Mexico, whose funds are frozen by ‘the U.S. Treasury, learn their right under U.S. laws and regulations to file for and/or appeal for release of their funds. This new type Mexican must be knowledgeable about U.S. bureaucratic procedures and able help Mexican and U.S officials procedures needed to apply to recover their rightful income earned in the USA. Many persons are encouraged to apply now for refunds or benefits, but do not know how to do so. My work in publishing and disseminating new knowledge includes the following works in process: Book on Globalization, published by Juan Pablos Editores, in Guadalajara, which is being translated into English by Rafael Castaneda. Sincerely, OML