After winning a historic 71% of the Latino vote in the 2012 election, President Obama is now preparing to follow through with a campaign promise years in the making, but consistently derailed by a broken Congress – comprehensive immigration reform. In response, right-wing Republican Senator Marco Rubio has come up with yet another anti-Latino immigration proposal.
Calls for responsible immigration reform may have been strengthened in part due to various anti-Latino statements made by Republican presidential candidates during the past election season, including one proposition to build an electric fence to fry Mexicans trying to cross the border.
Remember Herman Cain? Neither do we.
Marco Rubio’s “Ream Act” Lives
In response to President Obama’s plan, Republican Senator Marco Rubio has now resurrected his DREAM Act alternative, originally killed off following the president’s 2012 immigration executive order, which stopped the deportation of DREAM-eligible youth. Even then-presidential nominee Mitt Romney barely managed to give a tepid endorsement of the plan, which offered no path to citizenship for those seeking more than permanent residency.
As blogger John Aravosis once noted, a more suitable name for Marco Rubio’s then-plan would have been the “REAM Act.”
Marco Rubio’s latest DREAM Act version – call it, the Ream Act II — has ballooned in its extremism, following the president’s huge win among Latinos. The plan is split into phases, including one featuring mass deportations and a literal round-up of remaining immigrants to be fingerprinted, fined, and forced to pay back-taxes.
To say the least, fiscal-conservative Marco Rubio makes no mention of how the deportations of perhaps thousands or hundreds of thousands of immigrants will be paid for. Conservatives are so worried that “socialized medicine” will result in three-month long waits for a doctor’s visit — well, just wait until you call the cops because someone’s breaking into your house and they’re all too busy fingerprinting Marco Rubio’s 11 million undocumented immigrants.
The second phase of Marco Rubio’s plan involves extending possible permanent residency to immigrants, but makes no mention of citizenship or the wait-time to achieve citizenship.
Marco Rubio Thinks Latinos Are Welfare Queens
Like most conservatives, Marco Rubio’s deeply-flawed plan assumes that undocumented immigrants are freeloaders who pay zero taxes, instead preferring to mooch off the government teat. While data shows that the biggest group of welfare recipients are in fact white Americans (39% nationwide), Marco Rubio and Republicans continue to perpetuate the myth that undocumented immigrants receive federal assistance, when in fact, they are ineligible to do so.
Because undocumented immigrants are blocked from receiving Social Security numbers (only citizens and permanent residents can do so), the IRS assigns them individual taxpayer identification numbers (ITIN), through which they are docked federal and state taxes. Undocumented immigrants also pay local taxes when making purchases at stores and local businesses, and property taxes if they own their home. But without those Social Security numbers completely unavailable to them, undocumented immigrants cannot collect federal assistance, including Social Security benefits, Medicare, and unemployment insurance.
In short: No Social Security number, no federal help.
The very taxes collected by the feds, state, and local governments from the paychecks and purchases of undocumented immigrants amounts to a staggering $11.2 billion dollars, with a sizable amount likely going into the very Social Security checks and Medicare coverage of those same anti-Latino Republicans.
“They pay sales taxes and property taxes – even if they rent,” adds the non-partisan Institute for Taxation and Economic Policy. “At least half of them pay income taxes. And, I believe, if they were ever legalized, close to 100% would do the same. Add this all up, and it amounts to billions in revenue to state and local governments.”
So much for moochers, Marco.