Unfortunately during this pandemic, immigrants are being reminded that America will continue to treat them as second-class citizens. It was disheartening to hear our president utter the words that “illegal” immigrants wouldn’t be receiving help from the coronavirus stimulus package, and it was even worse hearing people agree and double down and say they didn’t deserve our help.
Why are undocumented immigrants undeserving of federal aid when they pay taxes? Taxes are used to help pay for this stimulus package. According to Forbes, undocumented immigrants pay $6.9 billion in sales and excise taxes, $3.6 billion in property taxes and about $1.1 billion in personal income taxes. We can’t tax undocumented immigrants and then refuse to provide them federal aid — that is unethcial and America is above that.
If your fear is that there isn’t enough money to go around, look to the billion dollar corporations that don’t pay their taxes but will benefit from the stimulus package paid for by your tax dollars. A report from the Institution of Taxation and Economic Policy showed that 91 corporations in the U.S didn’t pay federal income tax.
Schools, businesses and our social lives have been put on hold and we sit glued to our televisions and phones waiting to hear the news that our lives will return to normal. Being angry during this situation is perfectly understandable, but there is no reason to wrongly direct that anger at a whole group of people and deny them the help that they need.
Times like these can bring out the worst in us, but times like these also can bring out the best in us and it is not too late to change course and do what is right. The best way to overcome the hardships the pandemic has brought upon us is together. We need to move past hoarding resources and blaming others for what is going on because that won’t open our schools and business any sooner and let us return to normalcy.
I have great respect for the DACA recipients who became nurses and are fighting on the frontlines and the undocumented immigrants in our workforce who contiune to work hard during this pandemic, even though their country refuses to help them during this crisis. I hope that America doesn’t allow the hard work of undocumented immigrants to go unrewarded, because this country is better than that.
While we sit at home looking for something to do, let’s take time to write to our elected officials and let them know how wrong they are for excluding undocumented immigrants from the coronavirus stimulus package.