Thursday, January 31, 2008

Will the stimulus go to illegal immigrants too?

That's the question and it's permeating the internet and blogosphere. In looking for what will or might occur and what language is included in the House stimulus package, I came across this entry from The Crypt, the blog for Politico.com.

As they explain, the problem is with the way that individuals file their taxes. Many use Individual Taypayer Identification Numbers (ITIN), rather than Social Security numbers. Both legal and illegal immigrants use ITINs. If the Senate prohibits rebates to individuals who use ITINs, they'll keep some people, who are here legally, from getting the funds.

"A spokesman for House Minority Leader John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) points out that illegal immigrants are ineligible for any rebates and are committing tax fraud if they fraudulently obtain taxpayer ID numbers to file tax returns. Republicans also issued a memo Wednesday trying to defuse any controversy over immigrants and tax rebates.

"The bill includes language similar to the provisions included in the 2001 and 2003 tax relief bills designed to prevent illegal immigrants from receiving benefits," Boehner spokesman Kevin Smith said. "There is no language in the measure that would enable illegal immigrants to receive a tax rebate.”"

The real problem with this is that the IRS, not being a law enforcement agency, doesn't check to see if the person using an ITIN is in the country legally or not.

"Mark Krikorian, director of the Center for Immigration Studies, a conservative organization, says the problem is not with the economic stimulus bill but with the lack of coordination between the IRS and immigration enforcement agencies.

"If the IRS was cooperating with Social Security or DHS [Homeland Security] ... they would know who the illegal immigrants are who file tax returns," Krikorian said."

I don't care whether illegals in this country pay taxes or not. The fact that they're here illegally should be cause enough to disqualify them from participation in any so-called stimulus rebate.

3 comments:

Tim Higgins said...

Maggie,

If these "undocumented workers" (you will note that I used the PC term, for what reason, I don't know) are performing the jobs in this country which Americans won't perform (which is what we are being told), then I cannot believe that they are making enough money to be paying any taxes at the end of the year. Of course, this assumes that these people are filing income tax returns. We should therefore not have to worry as to whether the stimulus checks will go to them, as the government has assured us that these checks will only go to people who pay taxes.

... yeah, right

Maggie Thurber said...

Tim - I think those legislators confuse "pay taxes" with 'file a tax form' ... not realizing that many people file who end up getting back MORE than what they originally paid...EITC anyone????

Right Wing Toledo said...

Why should checks from the government be any different than driver's licenses? The fact of the matter is that the government has been pandering to this particular criminal class for years - our current President included. Until we decide to enforce all the laws, not just the ones we find politically expedient, these types of abuses will continue. In the meantime, Mexico and other countries will receive these kinds of "benefits."

The other issue raised here, those folks getting back more in refunds than in taxes paid, is even more insidious. You're correct MT, the EITC is just another undisguised transfer of earned income to those who don't or won't. But, get 50%+1 of the voters addicted to your daily dole of cash, you need never worry about being re-elected again.

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