Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Illegal Aliens Received Billions in U.S. Tax Credits Last Year

Whether the lefties want to believe it or not, illegal immigration is an economic issue. Illegal aliens take huge negative tolls on our school systems, hospitals and are bankrupting our states while the federal government sits by to watch. Now, the Washington Post has found illegal aliens received billions in IRS tax credits last year, simply because officials refuse to ask about legal status on returns.
The Internal Revenue Service allowed undocumented workers to collect $4.2 billion in refundable tax credits last year, a new audit says, almost quadruple the sum five years ago.

Although undocumented workers are not eligible for federal benefits, the report released Thursday by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration concludes that federal law is ambiguous on whether these workers qualify for a tax break based on earned income called the additional child tax credit.

Taxpayers can claim this credit to reduce what they owe in taxes, often getting refunds from the government. The vagueness of federal law may have contributed to the $4.2 billion in credits, the report said.

The IRS said it lacks the authority to disallow the claims.

Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee, On Friday announced plans to examine the refunds.

“The disconcerting findings in this report demand immediate attention and action from Congress and the Obama Administration,” Hatch said in a statement.. “With our debt standing at over $14.5 trillion and counting, it’s outrageous that the IRS is handing out refundable tax credits...to those who aren’t even eligible to work in this country.”

Wage earners who do not have Social Security numbers and are not authorized to work in the United States can use what the IRS calls individual taxpayer identification numbers. Often these result in fraudulent claims on tax returns, auditors found.

Their data showed that 72 percent of returns filed with taxpayer identification numbers claimed the child tax credit.

The audit recommended that the IRS seek clarification on the law and check the immigration status of filers with taxpayer indentificaion numbers.

IRS officials, in response to a draft of the report, agreed to consult with the Treasury Department on the law. But they said they have no legal authority to demand that filers prove their legal status when the tax agency processes returns.

The first step in fixing any illegal immigration problem, is to inquire about legal status. If we simply can't ask whether an individual is in the United States illegally, based on fears of "offending" someone or fielding accusations of "discrimmination," this problem will never go away as illegal aliens continue to bankrupt our public services. SB 1070 and Alabama's new immigration law would prevent fraudulent claims made by illegals and paid out in the billions of dollars by taxpayers in the future because they allow police officers to inquire about legal status. This isn't rocket science.


LEGAL immigration can be a good thing

Oliver Marc Hartwich looks at the ingredients behind Australia's success at integrating legal immigrants

One popular concern about Australia’s growing population is to maintain social cohesion in a ‘Big Australia.’ The influx of migrants from different countries, with different religions and different cultures, understandably brings with it the fear that the newcomers may not become part of mainstream society and remain segregated.

That’s exactly what many European countries are experiencing with their migrant populations. In fact, the idea of multiculturalism had been declared failed and dead by Europe’s leading politicians.

So do we have to be worried about similar developments here?

Maybe not. Although some fears about integrating migrants may be valid, Australians should be more confident. So far, we have proven extremely good at integration, unlike Europe.

Where migrants in many European countries are, on average, more unemployed, more criminal, and less educated than mainstream society, it is the exact opposite in Australia with all these indicators. Australia’s migrant population commands higher household incomes, their children score marginally better in school tests, and they are also a little less criminal than the Australian-born part of society.

Yes, there are differences between different groups of migrants, but the overall migration and integration experience has been positive. To continue benefitting from migration, we need to understand the secret of Australia’s success – and the reason of Europe’s failure.

Australia as a traditional destination for migrants is a more open and receptive country compared to Europe. The crucial difference, however, lies in the skills-based selection process – which Europe doesn’t have. Europe’s low-skilled migrants have few job opportunities and end up relying on welfare.

Australia, on the other hand, has ensured through its points-based immigration system that migrants speak English, are educated (or skilled), and employable. Welfare-dependent migrants have little incentive to engage with society. There are no colleagues whose language they would need to understand. Labour market participation is the best guarantee of successful integration.

Instead of fearing migration, Australia should expand it with a rigorous screening and selection process through the points-based visa system. This is one Australian story worth repeating.


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