Pay to the Order of Jose Incognito

As if it weren’t frustrating enough that many of the $600-1200 rebate checks associated with the $146 billion stimulus package would be going to people that did not pay any tax at all, the folks at Politico.com are now reporting that hundreds of thousands of non resident aliens who file tax returns using individual taxpayer identification numbers may receive the checks as well.

The piece even goes so far as saying that aliens who spent at least 183 days drawing income in this country before being deported could actually receive the checks in their home country.

That’s right … rebate checks to facilitate economic growth … issued by the United States Government … could very well be sent to people who shouldn’t have been here in the first place, even if they’re back at home where they’re supposed to be.

Somewhere, Teddy Kennedy and John McCain are smiling. No wonder McCain polls so well among Hispanic voters.

This is wrong on so many levels.

The Internal Revenue Service needs to coordinate better with immigration law enforcement officials. By monitoring the use of these individual taxpayer identification numbers, the IRS could accomplish two things: (1) avoid sending money contributed by American taxpayers to people who are breaking the law simply by being here, and (2) assist the INS in enforcing the immigration laws currently on the books.

Politicians say, over and over again, that we simply don’t know where the 12 to 25 million illegal immigrants in this country are. Yet, how many have been arrested for traffic violations or violent crimes and never had information turned over to immigration officials? How many are filing tax returns using these individual taxpayer identification numbers? If the immigration officials and the Department of Homeland Security don’t know where these people are, I suggest starting at the addresses where these illegal aliens expect to receive their tax refund (and now their rebate check).

I’m not savvy enough when it comes to the economy to detail the short- and long-term merits or consequences of the stimulus package currently making its way through the Capitol. However, I do know enough to know that I do not want these “rebates” going to people that don’t pay tax in the first place, and I certainly do not want them going to people who have no right to be in the country at all.
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