Trying to make a living shouldn’t be illegal — exploiting those who are should be.
November 3, 2010 § Leave a comment
I applaud the immigration advocates who are trying to curb violence against immigrants. That said, I think the word “illegal” needs to stay in our vocabulary. Consider the following: In 1996, IRS began issuing 9-digit Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers, or ITINs. These numbers look and act like Social Security numbers, meaning ITIN holders could be “legally” employed. They can also open bank accounts, and through some banks like Fifth Third, get tightly controlled loans. Since 1996, the IRS has issued over 11 million ITINs, most of which having gone to the undocumented. To keep an ITIN, the holder must file income tax every year. Identifiable by starting with a 9, employers know exactly when an applicant is using one. Billions in Social Security revenue every year are collected that will never be given back, and abusive employers get a workforce kept quiet by fear of deportation. Think of it as the “tax and deport” policy of the federal government. The only problem I have with the word is that it is misapplied. There are no illegal immigrants, but there is an illegal immigration system set up by government and big business. The immigrants aren’t issuing themselves ITINs or buying billboards in Mexico advertising jobs in Alabama, like Gold Kist, a poultry company, did. Have you seen the signs that say “illegal means illegal?” It doesn’t. (daily tar heel)