According to some right wing politicians undocumented immigrants do not pay taxes. One of them is taking to Facebook to debunk what she calls a myth.
Twenty-three-year-old Beln Sisa posted a photo of her contributing to the $12 billion that are paid by undocumented immigrants in both state and federal taxes each year.
The post was a simple photo of the student, who is a junior majoring in political science at Arizona State University, holding her 1040 tax form.
The post has been shared nearly 7,000 times.
“I decided to make the post because I really wanted to bust the myth that undocumented immigrants don’t pay taxes and don’t contribute to this country,” she said.
Belen received a mix of responses to her post. She shared that some people sent her private messages telling her they had reported her to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
“You’re going back,” one commenter wrote on her photo.
Another one suggested Belin return to Argentina, where she and her parents immigrated from:
“I dont know what the problem she seems to have with the system is. Shes allowed to study just her studies are not paid for (going to an American University instead of cleaning houses or working in a field is a privilege) she can get health care just not paid for (join the club) and she has to pay a measly 300 dollars in taxes (again wrong form). Why isnt she living back in Argentina again”
Sisa said the negative responses because that’s “exactly what they want.”
“They want to scare me and instill fear so that I will shut up and I won’t continue to bring these issues to light,” she said. “I hit a nerve. I told them the truth and they couldn’t handle it. Everything they’ve ever known was challenged.”
“We are the subject of scapegoating, especially during the Trump era,” she added.
But other responses were much more positive.
“We are all descendants from immigrants. Good for you Belan! Ignore the racists,” one user wrote.
“Dare to DREAM!! You are amazing!!!!” posted another.
“I got to give it to you and others. You are really brave,” one person said.
Sisa, who was brought to the United States on a visitor visa with her parents as a six year-old child, is qualified in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals initiative.
DACA, as it is more commonly known, allows young undocumented immigrants, brought to the country as children, to register their personal information with the government in exchange for federal work permits and a two-year reprieve from the threat of deportation. Registering within the program allows candidates to receive a Social Security number, and a driver’s license. There are stipulations for access to the program, such as a clean criminal record, and DACA is not a pathway to citizenship. Sisa has become an outspoken proponent for her fellow “Dreamers,” a term DACA recipients have embraced to identify themselves. But she has become familiar with the criticism her stance creates.
Sisa posted screenshots of some of the messages on her Facebook page because she wants the public to know the kind of hate faced by many immigrants.
“They’re starting to see what immigrants are up against,” she said. “Even when an immigrant does the right thing, it’s not good enough. It’s not about us doing the right thing. It’s about the fact that racism and xenophobia are alive and well in this country.”