An Ol’ Broad’s Ramblings

April 13, 2007

Taxing Illegals

Filed under: Illegals, taxes — olbroad @ 3:27

Here illegally? Tax due anyway

Among those lining up inside Latin & American Services for help filing their taxes ahead of Tuesday’s deadline: illegal workers.

Wouldn’t this be a good way to find out who broke the law and is living in this country illegally?

Like others, undocumented workers want their refunds, said Eneida Orama, owner of the business nestled among Latino shops and eateries in east Charlotte. But mostly her clients, Orama said, file taxes to stay right with the law.

I have a great deal of sympathy for these folks, but if they wanted to “stay right with the law”, they shouldn’t have snuck into the country, illegally.

Many illegal immigrants hope filing taxes regularly will help them to become legal citizens if there is a future amnesty.

Amnesty was a bad idea back in the 80’s when Ronald Reagan granted it, and it’s a bad idea now.

“The majority look at it as, `If I do my taxes … this will help me get legal standing in the U.S.,’ ” said Orama, 41, who grew up in New Jersey but whose family is from Puerto Rico.

Now, I get to show my complete and utter ignorance: I thought Puerto Rico was a U.S. territory, so how come someone from there be illegal?

Among the tax filers one recent afternoon at Latin & American Services, opened in 2001 as illegal workers flooded into the Carolinas, was Jose Garcia, his wife and two small children. He and his wife came to the U.S. illegally from Honduras four years ago, he says, but he’s filed his taxes every year.

“It’s like an obligation,” Garcia, 25, said of filing taxes. “And it shows we’ve been here for so long and that I have complied with the law.”

I honestly admire those who want to do the right thing by complying with the tax laws. That being said, I also am beyond annoyed that by filing their taxes, they think it’s ok that they came into the country illegally. It is not!

In 1996, the IRS began issuing individual taxpayer identification numbers, called ITINs. Undocumented workers are to use these nine-digit numbers, which start with “9,” in place of Social Security numbers when filing their taxes. So far, the IRS has issued nearly 11 million ITINs. While foreign nationals with work privileges and tax-filing requirements in the U.S. can also get ITINs, most of the numbers are believed to have gone to undocumented workers and their dependents.

Helloooooo? KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK! The federal government is aiding and abetting illegal aliens? What is wrong with THIS picture!?

The IRS issued 1.5 million ITINs in 2006, a 30 percent increase from the previous year.

30 percent increase? I’d say that was a good indication that we have seriously porous borders, wouldn’t you?

Between 1996 and 2003, the most recent data available from the IRS, the total tax liability from ITIN filings came to almost $50 billion.

Yes, large chunk of change. It still does not explain why the government is not enforcing it’s own laws. Sucking tax money out of workers is absolutely NO excuse.

The IRS says it doesn’t share data on who files taxes with the Department of Homeland Security. Still, undocumented workers filing taxes at Latin & American Services were wary of talking about it. In the small office where staffers sit behind glass and the air smells of overly sweet air freshener, there’s almost a visible push-pull of wanting to do the right thing but of being scared of getting busted for it, too.

Isn’t it time for the IRS to be answerable to someone? Like the American people?  Our nation’s safety is the issue. No, I don’t think a family from Guadalajara is a threat. I think it’s the ones who believe that by destroying our way of life are the threat. The ones who knock down buildings and think Sha’ria should rule the land? Ring any bells?

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