The other day I was listening to some opinions on the immigration debate. One woman was asked what we should do about the illegal immigrants in the country and she said something along the lines of: Send them all back, they don’t pay taxes, they are criminals, and we should send them all back. I realized there is a common misconception that immigrants are not paying taxes. It’s so ironic, it makes me feel a little ill. In most cases, immigrants cannot get a job without providing a Social Security number. Immigrants go through the same process that you and I do when we get a job, you have to provide some documents to prove your identity. So they make up a number and then buy a $30 piece of bluish paper that looks vaguely like a real card. Employers may or may not know that the card is fake, but it works. Immigrants’ paychecks have deductions for Social Security, Medicaid and income taxes for federal and whatever state, just like yours and mine. The difference is, unlike the average American, illegal immigrants almost never file their taxes, and therefore, rarely receive their refunds, and are overall paying more than they should be. Don’t forget they are paying billions into Social Security that the government and everyone knows they will never take out. How ironic is that? Why is the government taking all this money that’s being silently inducted into an account that is specifically designed for American citizens? Each year, Social Security sends out letters to people whose number “don’t match.” The letters state that there is a problem with their numbers and they should try to figure it out. But nothing is said about the thousands of dollars that have been deducted from that particular person’s paychecks and is currently funding the retirement of millions of Americans. I’m not saying that money should be returned necessarily, I just think that this strikes me as perhaps a bit below the law, and if we are going to blame people for breaking one law, we better make sure that we are following all the laws too, and clearly, we aren’t. End of rant of the day.
Thoughts on immigration – “Taxes?”