When I was growing up, the rule at the dinner table was that you had to eat your spinach (or worse, boiled Brussels sprouts) before you could have your dessert.
That's a good precedent, but one that the Obama administration has not applied to either the proposed mass amnesty program as I noted in an earlier blog, nor to the rules set forth for those who are currently applying for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).
There is no demand in either the current or the proposed system that the illegals must pay current and back taxes before they can apply for legal status.
What those rules should say is that for every year an applicant was more than, say, 18 years old, the alien must produce copies of already filed income tax returns, or returns filed after the fact to make up for returns not filed when they should have been. It also should be noted that non-filing of returns for more than a single year will set in motion an on-site investigation of the basic application.
In the case of the delayed returns, the alien should be excluded from Earned Income Tax Credits or Child Tax Credits, provisions that might actually bring the alien a cash refund. If the alien is already received those credits by filing in a timely manner, that would be perfectly acceptable.
There are mentions of tax returns in the DACA regulations, but they are never required; if they help the applicant to prove eligibility they may be submitted, but they do not have to be!
Talk about a one-way street!
The spinach-before-dessert metaphor might also be applied to the sensible and broader argument that we need to have an effective immigration-law enforcement mechanism in place before we even think about a mass amnesty.