Illegal Aliens Get Billions in Tax Refunds

Arnold Ahlert is a former NY Post op-ed columnist currently contributing to JewishWorldReview.com, HumanEvents.com and CanadaFreePress.com. He may be reached at atahlert@comcast.net.


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U.S. Treasury Secretary General Russell George offered his own take on the issue. “The magnitude of the problem has grown exponentially,” he said, further revealing that his agency has also told the IRS–repeatedly–of the abuse. Audit reports buttress that claim, and one issued in 2011 by the Inspector General (IG) illuminates the trajectory: in 2005, the IRS paid out $924 million on ACTC claims. Currently that number has mushroomed to $4.2 billion per year. The increase is attributable to expansions of the ATCT resulting from both the 2001 Bush tax cuts and The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, aka the stimulus package. Prior to 2001, tax filers needed three or more children to qualify for ACTC, along with owing more Social Security taxes than earned income credits. Both of those requirements were eliminated, making refunds much easier to get.

The report also reveals a stunning level of bureaucratic naivete regarding such moves. “The payment of federal funds through this tax benefit appears to provide an additional incentive for aliens to enter, reside, and work in the United States without authorization, which contradicts federal law and policy to remove such incentives,” it reads. Thus, as it is with so many government efforts, the triumph of ill-conceived “good intentions” remains the status quo even as the destructiveness of actual results is revealed.

Unsurprisingly, the IRS disputed the findings. “Any suggestion that the IRS shouldn’t be paying out these credits under current law to ITIN holders is simply incorrect,” IRS spokesperson Michelle Eldridge told The Fiscal Times in a statement. “The IRS administers the law impartially and applies it as written. If the law were changed, the IRS would change its programs accordingly.” According to the Washington Post, the IRS claims they have “no legal authority to demand that filers prove their legal status when the tax agency processes returns.”

Which brings us to Congress and all the attendant immigration politics attached to the issue. After the 2011 IG report was issued, Republicans in Congress attempted to address the problem. Rep. Sam Johnson (R-TX) introduced HR 1956: Refundable Child Tax Credit Eligibility Verification Reform Act. The bill would require individuals to produce a Social Security number in order to claim “the refundable portion of their child tax credit.” As of May 10th, the bill had 60 co-sponsors. A similar provision was put before the House Ways and Means Committee on April 18, where it was approved in 22-12 vote, with every Republican voting in favor, and every Democrat voting against it. Hence, the gridlock part of the equation.

Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) encapsulated the progressive opposition. “The benefits go to the United States citizen children,” he contended. “My God! Listen!…the question must be raised, where is our concern? Where is our compassion? Where is our heart? Where is our soul?” Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-NJ) contended the measure would save only “a very small amount of money” compared with the entire federal budget. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) piled on as well. “I just think the child tax credit is working just fine and there’s no need to punish children.”

In other words, as long as it’s “for the children” — the majority of whom, despite Mr. Lewis’ erroneous contention, live in Mexico – ripping off taxpayers for $4.2 billion is a reasonable tradeoff.

The IRS is also enchanted by progressive politics regarding the issue. “I think you actually have a lot of people in this country who pay taxes who aren’t here legally,” said IRS Comissioner Douglas Shulman at a National Press Club meeting on April 5th. “[They] file returns so they can show a track record of being good citizens…The people who are being good members of society, the people who do that, obviously, are contributing to the national defense, they’re contributing to our roads, they’re contributing to our schools, and that’s just what we want. And so we try to run the system in a really fair way that allows everybody to pay taxes who needs to pay taxes,” he added. Translation: if you pay taxes, citizenship or lack thereof is irrelevant.

That’s utter nonsense. In 2006, Deputy Social Security Commissioner James Lockhart testified that, in 2003 alone, 8.8 million W-2 forms had been filed with  non-matching Social Security Numbers and names. Subsequent investigation by the government could not attribute the W-2 to a known taxpayer. The IRS’s response? They claim the Internal Revenue Code does not allow the Social Security Administration to inform the Department of Homeland Security about employers filing W-2s with non-matching Social Security Numbers and names. In other words, if the IRS doesn’t look for a problem, no problem exists.

More leftist rationale for wholesale law-breaking? “Undocumented immigrants are undoubtedly positive for the fiscal health of this country,” says Leticia Miranda, associate director of the Economic Policy Project at National Council of La Raza, who adds that the fraud is offset by the fact that illegals pay Social Security taxes they can’t collect. 8.8 million “non-matching” SSNs and names in one year alone suggests otherwise. So does identity theft as revealed by the Social Security Administration Actuary. Those estimates show that 75 percent of illegal immigrants obtain and use a fraudulent Social Security number.

Ira Mehlman, a spokesman for the Federation for American Immigration Reform, a group which advocates securing U.S. borders, cuts through the nonsense. “The IRS doesn’t seem to think its job is to make sure people who are claiming these credits are entitled to them,” he says. “The children may or may not be living abroad–or even exist. It’s absurd, almost a joke.”

Unfortunately the joke is on the American taxpayer. And despite the large number of Americans who will be angered by abuse documented here, it is virtually certain that greater public awareness of this issue comes with a price: the more people who know about this scam, the greater the number of people willing to partake in it — enabled by a see-no-evil IRS, feckless congressional Democrats, and a phalanx of open border advocates determined to convince Americans that national sovereignty and xenophobia are interchangeable terms, and that political expediency is a viable substitute for the rule of law.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

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  • Ken

    And this is supposed to surprise anyone?!?

  • jacob

    Here is an issue worth taking up by the TEA PARTY people….in spite of the fact that the people it sent to
    Congress didn't do so far, anything…..

    It is known as "Civil Disobedience" …

    How about a nationwide campaign letting Congress know that it either corrects these abnormalities within
    30 days or people will stop paying taxes and let OBAMA and the DEMOCRAPS of Congress foot the bills out
    of their own pockets…. and lets watch OBAMA trying to make a political campaign issue of this matter

    Rest assured we would see action quicker than…..

  • oldtimer

    And who was the president in 1996 who allow this bill go be approved?

    • Questions

      Bill Clinton. The very president who knuckled under to the Religious Right knuckleheads who pushed for, and got, the Additional Child Tax Credit in the first place. Being "pro-family" has its drawbacks, immigrant hustlers among them.

      • Buck O'Fama

        the law of unintended circumstances…bites us in the ol' buttocks every time.

        we elect people whom we are led to believe might be smarter than the rest of us, and it's disappointing–alarming even– when they turn out to be dumber than the kid at the Jiffy Oil. Or as crooked as the Rutherford Co TN mayor who snuck in a mosque builidng permit in the dark of night…and is now ( oddly ) driving a much nicer car…

  • Schlomotion

    This article is a weak but verbose attempt to redirect the tax ire against Eduardo Saverin against illegal Mexican aliens instead. It's hilarious that Mr. Ahlert credits World Net Daily with discovering this "tax scam" against other latinos. World Net has "discovered" other things like: 9/11 was "caused" by American depravity and the gay lifestyle, that Barack Obama "was not born in the United States," that Al Gore had "dope dealers" in his campaign, and that Ann Coulter "endorses" gay organizations. In short, WND is Joseph Farah, and Joseph Farah is a kook who had to settle out of court for libel in 2008.

    • Western Canadian

      And you are a kook who lacks a platform for his own opinions. Settling out of court for lible, is not proof of lible. Even a moron like you should know that.

      • Schlomotion

        Actually, it's proof that he would have lost in court and paid the same amount if not more money, or at least he thought so.

        • Western Canadian

          No, it is not proof of any such thing. Unless he was absolutely certain that the judge would award him all costs, and that his accuser would be able as well as willing to pay, throwing in the towel on a frivolous case could be a very sad but wiser course of action. The AWD act is an ongoing source of examples of this type of legal crime being commited by cons and their slime-ball lawyers.

          • Schlomotion

            Your thinly veiled antisemitism is showing.

      • Western Canadian

        Sorry, ‘libel’.

    • Crossbow87

      It is weak, why? Because Joseph Farah settled out of court? I'm not following your logic. Either the tax law is being fraudulently exploited or it's not.

      • Schlomotion

        The tax law is probably being exploited. However, the tax law is really a red herring, as the original intent of the article is to point out that the "real" tax fraud is Mexicans as compared to Eduardo Saverin's tax immunity from the article "Facebook Founder Goes Galt" http://frontpagemag.com/2012/05/18/facebook-found

        The articles published here are meant to heavily cross-reference and heavily cross-promote one another. The site goes down on Friday night and resumes publication and posting on Monday morning, so Monday's articles are a continuation of the themes of Friday's articles. This article picks up where the Daniel Flynn article left off. This article is citing World Net Daily which has a libel problem. They don't really care about tax fraud. If it was Republican Christian Fundamentalist Oil tax fraud, it would not even be reported.

        • Crossbow87

          Your argument is what again? Saverin renounced his citizenship to avoid taxes and illegals are scamming US taxpayers for over $4.2 billion. You are trying to cultivate the idea that Saverin is a tax fraud as well? And apparently you have a problem with FPM's publishing cycle. Well, as someone who thinks correctly, I don't find a contradiction between this piece and the piece about Saverin. Both are true and not logically dependent upon one another. In addition, to say that FPM would not report on Christian fundamentalist tax fraud is not so much to indict FPM but it begs the question of where does that happen? If you know of an incident where a Christian organization is defrauding our government, please share with the class. Otherwise, you're not really criticizing FPM, you're simply trying to smear them. Understand the difference?

  • Ain't No Dhimmi

    Almost time to open up our borders to 'Mexico and Canada and bring in the new currency,

    The Amerco.

  • Diane Rossi

    This is outrageous! We need to post a link to this article on facebook!

  • marios

    who can expect honest trial under Eric Holder Justice department? Till BHO and his accomplieces in the power, in the WH America is upside down. Stop illegal immigration, stop Muslim immigration at all and … Romney is the next President. Only in this circumstances our beloved country can be survived.

  • Diane Rossi

    My brother-in-law can't even get affordable health insurance, yet we're giving our hard earned tax money to illegals who shouldn't even be in this country! I'm fed up!

    • Daphne jordan

      it's not right illegal immigrants are riding on the backs of americans who know what hard work means. the crazy thing is is that even if/when illegal immmigrants do pay taxes they get tax rebates and end up getting more money back than what they payed. Also illegal immigrants are granted acess to our public services without even paying taxes. The worst thing is though is that I am only 14 years old and i have dual citizenship to both france and america and im not an illegal immigrant and i amy not be the brightest and yet i know what it means to work and not take money from people who deserve it. These illegal immigrants are bascially theves they are stealing our hard earned money!!

  • Nessus

    I'm afraid it's too late……..they is simply no political will to do what the law requires: enforcement of the border and deportation for those found to be here illegally. There is no will.

    Never ending legal & illegal immigration are the reasons why the threshold was breached last week, that being white babies are no loner the majority of babies born in our country. It can change back but all immigration needs to be reduced greatly.

  • Schlomotion

    I admit it, jew haters smell bad.

  • Ghostwriter

    And it isn't just native-born Americans who are angry about this. Legal immigrants should also be outraged by this. Our tax money is going to people who shouldn't be here in the first place. As for Schlomotion's pathetic attempt to change the subject with Eduardo Severin,that's not the POINT!!! Our tax money is going to illegal aliens. Eduardo Severin has NOTHING to do with this topic.

  • wctaqiyya

    Would it be wrong for me to think renouncing US citizenship might be a good move? What the heck, citizens have fewer rights than the terrorists in Guantanamo who get free food, clothing, housing, full medical, dental, eye care and legal. I will not be shocked to learn they have government pensions. Illegal immigrants get jobs, legal aid, can file lawsuits, work, buy houses, drive and come and go as they please. Owe money citizen? Wanna send money overseas? Wish to travel? Get stuffed, pay a fine, get molested by the TSA, get raped by the IRS and hope the postman hasn't lost your $350 social security check. Citizenship? No thank you, I'll have what that other fellow's having instead.

  • Amused

    The POLITICIANS have known about this for several years , the child tax credit is for Americans .But because we have a bunch of spoiled whining brats as politicians whose only concern is to continue their great pissing contest , they will do it at the detriment of their own country , and if the teabaggers expended th same amount of energy fighting anything "Obama " and address these abuses , it would be brought to a quick end . But alas bi-partisanism " is a dirty word for the right . And all the politicians are afraid to alienate ANY voting base to correct serious problems and abuses. THERE IS AN EASY SOLUTION HERE , if both parties chose to BEHAVE LIKE AMERICANS >

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  • http://cutthemalarkey.com Vic Kelley

    “To me, it’s clear the IRS is letting this happen.”

    OK, it seems like that. But let's put the blame on the other party too – the Mexican illegals. It takes a lot of contempt for a country to break so many of its laws and steal its money like that.

  • Mario

    Oh please,

    There is people out there who will break the rules, if they get a whiff it can be done. First of all, don't label "Immigrants" as a derogatory term, don't label all Latino/Mexicans as illegal Immigrants because obviously we're not the only immigrants and many of us are here legally. I agree this isn't right, but this takes two sides for it to even BE a problem. The change needs to come from up top. It is the politician's/law makers/IRS's fault, a little more than it is illegal immigrants fault.

    Now listen, I hear many of you talk as if my Mexican people don't work hard for their money, and let me tell you they may work way harder than you. They do the extreme manual labor, stuff that you wouldn't even think of doing for a few months. They can't go after their dreams and achieve them, they need to work to support their family because they live paycheck to paycheck. It takes harder work to make it up top. You people's hate disgusts me in such a way, I can't begin to describe. But I forgive you for your undeveloped incompetent brain.

    "OK, it seems like that. But let's put the blame on the other party too – the Mexican illegals. It takes a lot of contempt for a country to break so many of its laws and steal its money like that. "

    Remember, I can bet anything your ancestors were immigrants at some point.
    I'm not here to bash on you guys, I'm here to shed some light on the other side of the situation.

  • http://www.rahmanravelli.co.uk/ Aaron Whitney

    Why is there such a tax law in the first place? I thought they were cracking down on illegals? This law and those actions basically amount to them condoning the presence of illegal aliens and even providing them benefits.

  • Rick Cooley

    God damn!!!! I don’t understand how this government loves the mexicans so much. Did they sell their souls to satan to achieve such a high level of loftiness? I mean c’mon, the mexicans are getting $10,000 for fraudulent tax refunds, and getting by, but an American citizen will get years in prison for doing the same thing. I hate the mexican people and i hate the U.S. government for allowing such unjust behavior to go on. The mexicans love it here in the U.S. because they get everything handed to them on a silver platter. No wonder they are so cocky, so arrogant, so egotistical, and so full of pride. They think they run this country, and with the way things are looking, they will someday own this country, and we’ll have a mexican-born president in the White House.