Immigration is perhaps the most politicized issue of our time beyond impeachment and foreign interference with our election process but it is an issue that has both positive and negative influences in our economy, social lives and business place.

We need self supporting immigrants who come this country prepared to do just that…Support themselves.  THEY will  solve our Medicare and Social Security problems. 

We cannot begin to appreciate how hard these immigrants are prepared to work for the chance to live in this country.  What the asylum seekers and people planning on seeking state and federal assistance do not yet understand is that we as a country are literally tapped out due to mismanagement, manipulation of the system, idiotic interpretations of laws and regulations and outright dishonesty in our social benefits system, not to mention a 20 year war and a national deficit that is far larger than reported because it is ‘off the books.’  First, we need to look at the undocumented immigrants issue.    

Undocumented immigrants, it is said, paid $11.2 billion in taxes in 2010, according to the Institute for Taxation and Economic Policy. About half of all the 10.5 to 11 million illegal immigrants pay some form of federal taxes, according to fiscaltimes.com.  This $11.2 billion apparently applies to state and local income taxes only, and while the federal taxes are not listed, the implication is some do NOT pay federal taxes.  The above information is given by very reputable sources such as fiscaltimes.org, the Institute of Taxation and Economic Policy, migrationpolicy.org and pewresearch.orgHowever, I defy you to find a true source of the above information.  Everyone quotes one another with the original study now missing from the internet, and having different agendas, everyone interprets what was there differently.  We did find one verifiable source at Just Facts Daily, and Just Facts, however.  While undocumented immigrants  “file federal tax returns, the vast majority of them don’t pay any federal income taxes. Instead, they use these returns to claim refundable tax credits, which are a form of cash welfare.” justfactsdaily.com. These tax credit refunds likely negate any state and local tax paid with a balance left over.    

This refund is facilitated by Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers (ITINs)  which are available to people without Social Security numbers so they can file tax returns. These ITINs have become increasingly linked to fraudulent tax claims, which helped inflate IRS payouts on the Additional Child Tax Credit from $924 million in 2005 to $4.2 billion in 2010, the Fiscal Times report said, which appears to be a 450% increase over 5 years.   When asked to comment, IRS spokesperson Michelle Eldridge told The Fiscal TimesAny suggestion that the IRS shouldn’t be paying out these credits under current law to ITIN , is simply incorrect.  The IRS administers the law impartially and applies it as written. If the law were changed, the IRS would change its programs accordingly.”

So to clarify, the IRS is telling us that when the payroll taxes are paid and they find an individual on that report is not in the system, and  the potential possibilities include being illegal, falsifying an identity or otherwise misidentifying herself through error or incomplete identification,  the system eventually gives that person an ITIN and goes on.  As a result of that ITIN, the benefits begin to cascade.  

Federal law prohibits illegal immigrants from receiving most federal benefits, but the IRS has concluded that this restriction does not apply to refundable child tax credits.

In 2010, the IRS paid out $4.2 billion in refundable child tax credits to 2.3 million tax filers who were not legally authorized to work in the United States.  JustFactsDaily.org  

The IG report stated that more than 2.3 million persons who did not have Social Security numbers valid for working in the U.S. got an average of roughly $1,800 each in 2010 in child tax credit refunds. ($4,140,000) That included 9,000 illegal immigrants who each got a total of $10,000 or more by retroactively claiming credits for tax years prior to 2010.  

In 2010, 72% of the tax returns filed by illegal immigrants and foreign investors received cash payments from the IRS for child tax credits. Among the U.S. citizens and foreigners legally working the U.S., 14% of tax filers received cash payments from the IRS for child tax credits.  JustFactsDaily.org

In 2017, the IRS improperly paid $16.2 billion in earned income tax credits, amounting to an improper payment rate of 24%.

These improper payments were greater than the budget of the IRS.  JustFacts.com. For more documented violations of the refundable child tax credits, go here.    

The IRS had mailed 23,994 ITIN refunds totaling $46,378,040 to a single address in Atlanta, Georgia in a 2012 audit per JustFacts.com.

The estimated cost to taxpayers of covering 3.1 million amnestied immigrants during the budget period 2014-2019, in which Medicaid expansion takes effect, is $48.6 billion.  According to the National Immigration Forum,  the 11 million undocumented immigrants may be eligible for a handful of benefits that are deemed necessary to protect life or guarantee safety in dire situations, such as emergency Medicaid, access to treatment in hospital emergency rooms, or access to healthcare and nutrition programs under the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC).

“The environment created by [IRS] management discourages tax examiners from identifying questionable ITIN applications.” IRS 2012 audit, per JustFacts.com

Annual estimated costs of taxpayer-provided health care for uninsured undocumented immigrants was $4.3 billion, as of 2010, according to the Center for Immigration Studies.

About half of that goes to people with incomes below 133% of poverty which according to the Census Bureau is underreported by 32%

meaning more people show incomes below the 133% poverty line than should because they have higher incomes.  (I know, a bit counter intuitive but it is the government.  What can I tell you?)  

We are a compassionate nation with a history of helping those in need to unprecedented levels.  But DEFAULT IS NOT how we decide to dispense federal funds.  An IRS assigned Individual Taxpayer Identification Number without the standard qualifying identification processes that include an interview with a government official should not qualify a person for federal or state benefits. We need to decide the benefit qualifications based on a person’s circumstances …the entire family’s financial status… and resolve this in a formal and legal way. 

for Part 2, go here.

 “Know what matters most to you and be unwilling to compromise those priorities at almost any price.”

― Frank Sonnenberg,

Soul Food: Change Your Thinking, Change Your Life

     

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