immigrant

I am going to explain why undocumented workers are good. Most of this isn’t original, novel, or unavailable elsewhere on the web.

In the 2011 haze of heat and anti-immigration policies being passed and policed, Georgia rotted.* Americans needed jobs, so Georgia passed strict policies against undocumented workers. It turns out, people don’t want to work in 90 degree heat for less than 20k a year.**

Not all undocumented workers are just doing jobs American citizens refuse to–day labor, maids, janitors, non-artisan butchers and meat processors. Some are Pulitzer and Sydney Prize award winning journalists. Some of these people pay taxes.

If you don’t have a social security number, you can still be assigned an individual tax identification number. This is a number the IRS gives workers so they can still pay taxes. The IRS has made all sorts of charts that are reproduced on wikipedia showing rates of federal income tax. This money–and other money–disappears into the government system, and is never seen by those workers except for child tax credits.***

The Child Tax Credit is as much as $1,000 per “qualifying” child. That is a dependent under the age of 17 (so 16 year olds are the max). In MA, sales tax is 6.25%. It seems unlikely that someone would spend $16,000 on taxable purchases for their child (an undocumented worker at least). However, the USDA’s food cost estimates for a family of four (on a thrifty plan) is $548-629.10 monthly depending on age. For a family of two (on a thrift plan) it’s $376.60-357.30. Since these immigrants don’t qualify for food stamps, it’s fair to say that the $1000 is more than used in the cost of feeding a family. Hell, if you’re the head of a household making between $12,150 and $46,250 a year, your federal tax responsibility is $1,215.00 + 15%.

Additionally, if an employer is aware that a worker is undocumented, there’s this whole messy power balance thing going on where an employee has no ability to contest harsh workplace conditions, discrimination, illegal firing, and all those things that I know are there to back me. They can’t apply for unemployment if they lose their job. Hiring an undocumented worker is great for you.

In sort, these people are paying the US government for the privilege of living and working here, while receiving little of the government benefits us citizens have access to.

*This is a randomish link. An early hit on DuckDuckGo.
**Random website from duckduckgo.
***This is a project of the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania. That means it’s legit, y’all.

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