The Quote Below—More Misinformation from the Media
“Esperanza’s job isn’t glamorous, and it’s not going to make her rich. . . . Like millions of other Texans, she’s been forced to take days off because of the COVID-19 pandemic. But unlike most others, she won’t get any financial relief from the $2.2 trillion bipartisan aid package passed to help the working class endure the massive economic hit that has already left millions of people unemployed. . . .
“Esperanza is an undocumented immigrant whose Austin-based employer deducts taxes from her checks every pay period. Those taxes add up to thousands of dollars annually, but because of her immigration status, she won’t receive one of the payments of up to $1,200 that the federal government began sending out earlier this week. A Social Security number is required to receive the benefit, so only citizens, legal permanent residents and some immigrants with work authorization can expect payments.
“’They take a part of your check,” said Esperanza, who asked to be identified by a pseudonym because of her status. “It’s our obligation [to pay the taxes], but then we don’t receive any benefits afterward.’ . . .
“In Texas, many of the businesses that are considered essential and allowed to stay open with some limitations during the pandemic — including construction, restaurants and cleaning services — rely heavily on undocumented labor.”—She’s an Undocumented Immigrant, a Taxpayer and an Essential Worker. But She Won’t get a Stimulus Check, Texas Tribune, Julian Aguilar, 4/16/20. [Link]
Fact Check of Quote Above: Illegal alien advocates have a problem of credibility when they maintain that our federal government should make no distinction between citizens and law-breaking foreigners when handing out benefits. To make this notion a little more palatable, they maintain that illegal aliens deserve benefits because they pay taxes.
This argument fails because those who break our laws have no moral or legal standing to make demands—regardless of whether they pay taxes. In addition to that, their taxes do not provide a net benefit to our country. They receive more in tax-paid benefits than they pay in taxes.
It’s estimated that about half of illegal alien workers are paid under the table and off the books. Consequently, they do not pay federal and state income taxes. Those who do pay federal taxes often game the system by claiming dependents they don’t have and thereby receive a tax credit. Thus they pay nothing to the federal government while receiving cash in return.
A study done by the Heritage Foundation found that “In 2010, the average unlawful immigrant household received around $24,721 in government benefits and services while paying some $10,334 in taxes. This generated an average annual fiscal deficit (benefits received minus taxes paid) of around $14,387 per household.” No evidence suggests that this situation has changed.
This article makes much of the fact that illegal aliens are in occupations deemed essential during the coronavirus crisis. The suggestion is that we can’t do without their services now. It fails to note that—as the result of the crisis—approximately 22 million Americans are out of work. It is reasonable to assume that many of these unemployed Americans would be available to fill the positions now held by the illegal aliens.
To make this happen, it would be helpful to encourage those aliens to leave those jobs and go home. But giving them stimulus money sends them the message that they are welcome in our country and should stay.
The article uses a tactic that illegal aliens advocates in the media commonly employ. Namely, they find an illegal alien who may evoke sympathy, such as “Esperanza,” and use this example to make illegal immigration seem more acceptable. But rarely do the corporate media display American victims of illegal immigration in such a sympathetic light. They include citizens who suffer unemployment, reduced wages, crime, hazards to health, and cultural and social displacement. As far as these media are concerned, these citizens may as well not exist.