“They don’t pay taxes!” “Our current immigration system costs America’s taxpayers many billions of dollars a year.” “They don’t contribute to our economy!” Those are a few examples of misconceptions some Americans, including our President, have expressed towards the undocumented immigrant community in the United States.
Opinions are evidently not facts and if statistics won’t convince others that those myths are inaccurate, then I will. I am an undocumented student that works legally in the U.S. under DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) and pay my taxes. From the sweet age of seventeen I have been paying federal and state taxes. Social security and Medicare are indeed deducted from my checks and I do not qualify for any of their benefits. I also do not qualify for any federal grants or scholarships but luckily do qualify for in-state tuition due to the Maryland Dream Act.
The Vox’s article “Undocumented immigrants pay taxes too. Here’s how they do it” by Alexia Fernández Campbell is another example of an undocumented immigrant filing their taxes. Unlike Maria ,the person interviewed, I work with a work permit that comes with a Social Security number while she uses an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN). Maria and I are part of the estimated 6 million (out of 12 million) undocumented immigrants predicted of filing taxes every year.
The article mentioned that in 2013 a study determined that the portion that undocumented tax payers contributed to the Social Security Administration was about $13 Billion in one single year. That is $13 billion that millions, like myself, will probably never see again if we retire in the U.S. Despite those facts, I am okay with paying my debt to society but I am not okay with the tainted lies spread about people like myself.
Belen Sisa is a student at Arizona State University who got tired of the repeated misconceptions, and decided to take matters into her own hands. She decided to post a picture of herself holding her 1040 tax form to demonstrate that she, like many other immigrants, pays her taxes. In her caption she even mentioned paying the state of Arizona a total of $300 after filing her taxes.
These are just a few examples of undocumented immigrants who file taxes every year despite their legal status is this country. Unfortunately it is predicted that not all 12 million immigrants pay their dues but that shouldn’t make room for negative criticism for those that do. The portion that does contribute to this society, do so in the hopes of one day being fully integrated into American society as citizens. It is those hard workers and dreamers that will change the mindsets of people like our President.
This week the Prime Minister of Canada welcomed Malala into his country. His invitation extended later on when he gave her honorary Canadian citizenship. Malala is from Pakistan and has endured many trials in her short life. She is a strong advocate for education rights for all women and her journey has even landed her a Nobel Peace Prize. This article is a great example of how welcoming countries should be to outsiders. Many immigrants around the world have so much to offer the countries they’re in, they just need someone to give them a chance.
After Pepsi’s recent commercial backlash, people are exploring more options that Pepsi could endorse. Their recent commercial brought a lot of backlash after many viewed it as “tone-deaf” and insensitive to recent current events. This image is an example of how the commercial applies to recent ICE raids throughout the country.
On Sunday March 12, 2017, Iowa Republican Representative Steve King twitted the following, “Wilders [a Twitter page] understands that culture and demographics are our destiny. We can’t restore our civilization with somebody else’s babies.” This controversial statement was received majorly with hostility but surprisingly a few political leaders remain supportive of his claims. Those few political leaders also happen to be governing our nation and have the power to influence our nation’s policies. We are currently living in an era where anti-immigration rhetoric, like that of Rep. King, has become common.
It has become a common and natural activity for certain people, like Rep. King, to blame the world’s problems on a particular culture or demographic. This is not the first time he has expressed his concerns to save Western civilization from the attacks of foreign immigrants. He intensely supports the need to build a wall on the U.S. border and to ban Islamic immigrants from entering the U.S. Despite understanding his claims, our blogs ideologies do not support his statement. The United States of America was established by “somebody else’s babies.”
Benjamin Franklin, one of our founding father’s, was the son of an English immigrant. Josiah Franklin (Benjamin’s father) was born in England and emigrated to the U.S. in the 17th century. Without Mr. Franklin’s migration, one of the keystones of our independence movement would not have called himself American. In fact, all of our founding fathers were sons or grandsons of immigrants who came to America for the promises of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
Our America was established by “someone else’s baby.” Benjamin Franklin was not the only child of an immigrant that shaped our nation. Immigrants like foreign born physicist Albert Einstein enlightened our world with his knowledge. Alexander Hamilton, the founder of America’s financial system, was also foreign born. Apple’s co-founder Steve Jobs was the son of a Syrian immigrant. His multi-billion dollar company has produced technological devices that have changed our generation.
We do not need to restore our civilization because it was never destroyed in the first place. Benjamin Franklin, Albert Einstein, Alexander Hamilton and Steve Jobs are only a few of the immigrants, or sons of immigrants, that have changed our world for the better. They were someone else’s babies of immigrants who were taught right from wrong and contributed to the world they were living in. Their diversity is not our demise but our salvation.