Income Tax Refunds for Illegals Should Be Sent to Their Homeland Addresses

By David North on December 12, 2014

Let's use the income tax system to encourage the voluntary departure of some of the millions of illegal aliens now in the United States.

Here are the facts:

  1. A large majority of workers in the United States who are in the above-ground economy get income tax refunds each year from the federal government and/or from the states where they live.

  2. Many of the millions of illegal aliens employed in the United States are in the legal economy.

  3. Therefore, millions of illegal aliens get tax refunds, often in the thousands of dollars, from the federal and state treasuries each year. Some of the illegals use questionable and/or illegal methods to enhance those refund checks, as we showed in an earlier report.

  4. Currently these refund checks are sent to addresses in the United States supplied by the illegals.

We should make a slight change in refund-payment policies (perhaps needing legislation, perhaps not) to this effect: The refund checks for those not legally in the United States will be sent to their last legal address overseas, and the refund checks can only be cashed by the recipient, in person, at that overseas location.

One rationale for this is that the worker, if illegally in the United States, must not be intending to stay; since he is currently illegally present at his (or her) U.S. address, the government is sending the check to the last known legal address for that person.

The government will thus meet its obligation to tax incomes fairly, but will not encourage illegal migration by allowing illegals to cash their refund checks in this country.

The illegals involved will face a choice of returning home to collect the checks (which will put them outside the United States without a credential to return) or not collecting the refunds.

The nation, in every case, comes out ahead. We either peacefully and quietly get rid of some illegal aliens, thus easing the population pressures on the United States, or we obtain some more money, thus easing the size of the national debt.

It's hard on the illegals, to be sure, but they are not supposed to be here anyway, and it is good for the rest of us. What's not to like?

I call this the PATH – PAy Them at Home – system. It will work at a profit, and I would propose taking the cost of administering it from the resulting tax savings. This should be done in such a way that it will make it hard for an administration to under-fund the program.

Program Details. Such a program should be mounted both at the federal and the state levels. My suggestions for the specifics of the program are designed for the federal level, but many of them could be used by the states.

Anyone who is legally entitled to work in the United States will need to be on the E-Verify master list, a requirement that will inconvenience some legal U.S. residents. Those who are not may file a statement explaining why they should be on the E-Verify list and, if the statement is accepted, they can have their refunds mailed to them in the States or directly deposited in their bank. Those who don't qualify for the E-Verify list will have their checks sent to homeland addresses.

In order to eliminate (or severely reduce) the danger that an impersonator will attempt to cash the check overseas in the name of the illegal, each illegal wanting to collect the check overseas will need to go to an IRS office in the United States and obtain a secure ID with both a photo and a fingerprint (or maybe, later, a computerized record of a pupil scan). He or she will need the document to prove identity at the time of check cashing. IRS will provide the ID free of charge, (and will convey the information thereon immediately to DHS.)

The new IRS ID card will make it very clear that the document cannot be used to re-enter the United States or for any purpose other than cashing the refund check. There will be a finite set of locations, primarily U.S. embassies and consulates, where these checks can be cashed; numerous in Mexico, but just in the embassy in places that produce few illegals.

The refunds can be accumulated for several years, thus building up an increasing incentive to return to the home country, with all the funds being provided by the illegal.

I doubt that the administration, which is so pro-migration, would adopt the policy; but perhaps a future one might. Perhaps a law requiring the establishment of PATH could be inserted as a rider in a must-pass law of some kind that would spare it from a presidential veto.

PATH presumably will provide a cash bonus to the feds, it would be totally voluntary in nature, and would require no courts, no lawyers, no cops.

Why not try it?

(For an earlier blog on another way to use the tax system to encourage emigration, see here.)