Frontera Fund News

Why Immigrants Are More Committed to Their Communities than Donald Trump

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Carmen Cornejo
Written by Carmen Cornejo

I was not surprised to see the interest this Frontera Fund article about recent changes to ITIN (Individual Tax Identification Numbers) gathered some weeks ago since many of our readers are undocumented immigrants and their allies. Most immigrants want to contribute to their adopted country by paying their fair share of taxes, and they seek information to stay on top of the issues that affect them.

Immigrants, unlike presidential candidate Donald Trump, have a strong commitment to the communities in which they live.

Thanks to the New York Times article revealing that the Republican candidate for the presidency of the United States dodged taxes, taking advantage of a system that favors the ultra-rich, we know that The Donald has been paying $0 in federal taxes for years, perhaps decades.

This travesty is highly ironic: Any immigrant family, Trump’s favorite scapegoat, pays more federal taxes than he does.

This is another sad example of the demonization of the poor for political gain.

According to the Institute on Taxation & Economic Policy (ITEP), undocumented immigrants pay an estimated $11.64 billion in state and local taxes every year, and at least 50 percent of undocumented immigrant households file tax returns using Individual Tax Identification Numbers (ITINs).

Even immigrants who do not file tax returns get taxes deducted from their paychecks every time. Many contribute to Social Security without hope of ever collecting benefits.

Imagine what will happen if America’s 11 million undocumented immigrants were granted legalization, allowing them to work legally. Only good can come out of it. Experts calculate that state and tax contributions would be boosted by more than $2.1 billion a year. Who would not want that?