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A Reader Points Out That Many Immigrants Pay No Income Tax
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January 25, 2007, 04:00 AM
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From: Don Casteel (email  him)

Re: Ed Rubenstein`s Illegal Immigration Pays—For Them, Not Us

As usual, Mr. Rubenstein´s article sheds light on the economic implications of mass immigration that few of us could hope to emulate.

I have had the opportunity to know several employers of large numbers of immigrants, both illegal and legal. (Those employing illegals of course claim that realistic-looking documents were presented.) The main thing that they all have in common is that almost without exception, immigrants of the lower economic strata pay NO income tax.

Since my acquaintances are law-abiding, they do the paperwork. They tell me that the most common ploy is to claim six dependents on the W-2 form, apparently the magic number that is accepted by the IRS without scrutiny. This number is routinely claimed both by single immigrants, and by those who may have children not in the U.S. and thus not usable as deductions. Usually this results in no tax withheld, and since they never file an income tax return, the chances of their being caught are infinitesimal.

To me, the glaring flaw in the studies cited by Mr. Rubenstein, including the famous Urban Institute study of a few years ago, is that they either go by self-reporting by immigrants (what are they supposed to say? No, I don`t pay income tax?), or by estimating income and assuming that proper taxes are paid.

Mass immigration is indisputably a huge detriment to Americans, and not just economically.

If you should choose to print this letter, please use my full name and title. I don`t believe in hiding behind aliases as so many on the other side do.

Donald D. Casteel is a retired U.S. Consul General of the United States