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SivaGanesha

undocumented immigrants--how do they typically manage to work?

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Does anyone know what percentage of illegal immigrants fall into each of the following categories:

1. Work under the stolen social security number of an American citizen without that person's knowledge or permission, potentially seriously messing up that person's life.

2. Work under the social security number of a friend or family member with permission--not technically legal but probably not seriously messing up that person's life as it was done with permission.

3. Work under their own social security number--some illegal immigrants do have social security numbers.

4. Work in jobs where the job itself isn't a crime but they work under the table for cash only--no social security number involved.

5. Work solely in criminal enterprises--drug dealing, human trafficking, terrorism, prostitution (outside of Nevada), etc.

6. Do not work.

There is a lot of news about illegal immigration these days, but with a lot of emotion on both sides, it is hard to develop an informed opinion of this subject without a feel for who the illegal immigrants actually are. An illegal immigrant who isn't seriously messing with the lives of American citizens is, to me, far more sympathetic than one who is. But is there any reliable info out there about how exactly illegal immigrants get by and to what extent it causes or does not cause problems for US citizens?
"It's hard to have fun at 4-way unless your whole team gets down to the ground safely to do it again!"--Northern California Skydiving League re USPA Safety Day, March 8, 2014

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many work for cash, but those loopholes are closing rapidly due to penalties and such. Not that many businesses out there that have ways to bury cash...as well burying cash itself is federal tax fraud, nothing to do with illegal immigration

Some work for cash, but the work if paid through a legal employee, who then deducts the expected taxes and pays the cash to the illegal person. They will claim the income on their taxes and therefore income tax is paid for that illegal persons work

Some do the same by getting a paycheck using someone else's SSN, often willingly or the SSN is 'sold' for $$. So W2 wages get taxes deducted and the person gets a paycheck.
That illegal may very well get a W2 but will not file a tax return. But the income tax was still paid to the federal govt and the discrepancy may or may not show up on the person (who owns the SSN) income tax return.
If it does show up as their income, then the taxes were paid so often a null financial penalty for them.
This loophole is also being closed up as the IRS is noticing that income is coming from several different companies or entities for the same person - which is a red flag.

Illegals mostly pay taxes I expect. They also pay all the same taxes as you and I when they buy things, so the image that they do not contribute to society or are freeloaders with free healthcare and all that is simply bunk.

If they have a medical emergency, they go to the ER just like regular Americans without health insurance do every day. Or they go to walk-in clinics, and pay cash, like so many other Americans do every day.

And I bet even some of them have health insurance, as there would appear to be no reason they could not buy it. Most cannot get a drivers license as this is one govt-controlled avenue where loopholes were easily plugged after 9/11.


So we bunch them into groups and call them freeloaders (probably not true). And then we call them criminals and felons, because using someone else's ID or SSN to pay taxes is a form of identity theft, so then we get to deport them because they are 'criminals', when in fact most are simply trying to live within the system and pay taxes so they can work.

It's kind of like me calling someone a 'felon' or a 'drug addict' when you take someone else's prescription pills because you are in pain and cannot get a prescription yourself. In the truest sense of the law, you are a criminal and a felon, but I expect that EVERYONE here has taken a prescription drug that was not theirs at one time or another.

The definition of a felon is also part of the problem, which makes it easy to label people as some kind of heinous criminal with ease. i.e. It is a felony to record a phone call without the other person's permission in most states. Not exactly 'heinous'. It is also a felony to rape babies. Which is heinous. Both people are called 'felons'

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http://thehill.com/blogs/congress-blog/foreign-policy/203984-illegal-immigrants-benefit-the-us-economy

You will not find a area of investigation with as much spin and faulty study as this. There are hundreds of studies which have the originating intent of proving a net cost or net benefit relating to undocumented immigrants.

http://business.time.com/2013/01/30/the-economics-of-immigration-who-wins-who-loses-and-why/

http://www.economist.com/news/united-states/21705699-who-are-main-economic-losers-low-skilled-immigration-wage-war

There are so many factors in play that only universities, large think tank economists and governments can really comprehensively cover the variables. Generally speaking they are a net benefit. Not as huge a benefit as the left would argue. But for certain not a negative economic impact on the economy.One of the studies below suggests that there is a negative correlation between US spending on immigration border enforcement. That means for every $1 spent on immigration border enforcement the return is about 97 cents. This is of course a separate issue from drug, gun, smuggling etc.

Further reading both of these will give you a fairly comprehensive and honest view:
https://gps.ucsd.edu/_files/faculty/hanson/hanson_publication_immigration_illegal.pdf

https://www.hks.harvard.edu/fs/gborjas/publications/popular/CIS2013.pdf

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1. Work under the stolen social security number of an American citizen without that person's knowledge or permission, potentially seriously messing up that person's life.

2. Work under the social security number of a friend or family member with permission--not technically legal but probably not seriously messing up that person's life as it was done with permission.

3. Work under their own social security number--some illegal immigrants do have social security numbers.

4. Work in jobs where the job itself isn't a crime but they work under the table for cash only--no social security number involved.

5. Work solely in criminal enterprises--drug dealing, human trafficking, terrorism, prostitution (outside of Nevada), etc.

6. Do not work.



3) isn't quite right. They don't have Social Security numbers, but they do have ITIN's (individual taxpayer identification numbers.) These are given to people who don't have SS numbers but want to pay taxes. There are about 3 million people out there who file under ITIN's, out of ~8 million illegal aliens working.

4) is pretty common, especially in construction and skydiving. (Packers, riggers and coaches are generally paid in cash.)

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billvon

3) isn't quite right. They don't have Social Security numbers, but they do have ITIN's (individual taxpayer identification numbers.) These are given to people who don't have SS numbers but want to pay taxes. There are about 3 million people out there who file under ITIN's, out of ~8 million illegal aliens working.



I was in fact referring to the ones who have actual social security numbers not ITIN's. There are various reasons why an undocumented immigrant might have a real SSN not just an ITIN. Sometimes they were here legally in the past and then either overstayed or left and returned illegally. Sometimes they were allowed to stay temporarily while fighting deportation and were granted a SSN during that period. Some have just been here quite a long time (I believe in the 1980's and earlier SSN's were given out more easily without regard to immigration status).

For the ones who do in fact have ITIN's, I was assuming they are paid in cash and then file taxes using the ITIN at the end of the year--but maybe I'm mistaken in how ITIN's are used (?)

Mainly I'm trying to get a sense as to how widespread a problem identity theft of American citizens by immigrants looking to work without permission is. Those who are solely using their own numbers--be it an ITIN or a SSN--aren't likely to create a big problem re identity theft.
"It's hard to have fun at 4-way unless your whole team gets down to the ground safely to do it again!"--Northern California Skydiving League re USPA Safety Day, March 8, 2014

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>There are various reasons why an undocumented immigrant might have a real SSN
>not just an ITIN. Sometimes they were here legally in the past and then either
>overstayed or left and returned illegally.

Agreed. From what I have been able to find, about a million illegal aliens have their own valid SSN.

>For the ones who do in fact have ITIN's, I was assuming they are paid in cash and
>then file taxes using the ITIN at the end of the year--but maybe I'm mistaken in
>how ITIN's are used (?)

ITIN's work just like SS#'s for taxes. You give the employer an ITIN, he withholds tax, you get paid, then at the end of the year you use the ITIN to file. The employer can pay in cash or via check (check is more common.)

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billvon


ITIN's work just like SS#'s for taxes. You give the employer an ITIN, he withholds tax, you get paid, then at the end of the year you use the ITIN to file. The employer can pay in cash or via check (check is more common.)



Well an ITIN works just like a SSN except for the part where the employer is committing perjury when they sign the I-9 saying they believe in good faith that the employee is authorized to work.

Now if the employer pays in good old fashioned under the table cash, it might not be legal but at least the additional crime of perjury isn't being committed.
"It's hard to have fun at 4-way unless your whole team gets down to the ground safely to do it again!"--Northern California Skydiving League re USPA Safety Day, March 8, 2014

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billvon



Why do you believe that?



An ITIN begins with the digit '9'. No valid SSN begins with the digit '9'. Any legitimate HR department doing it's due diligence can easily tell the difference.
"It's hard to have fun at 4-way unless your whole team gets down to the ground safely to do it again!"--Northern California Skydiving League re USPA Safety Day, March 8, 2014

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SivaGanesha

***

Why do you believe that?



An ITIN begins with the digit '9'. No valid SSN begins with the digit '9'. Any legitimate HR department doing it's due diligence can easily tell the difference.

So are you saying that only illegal immigrants get ITINs? There's no other reason the IRS would give someone an ITIN?
I promise not to TP Davis under canopy.. I promise not to TP Davis under canopy.. eat sushi, get smoochieTTK#1

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lummy


So are you saying that only illegal immigrants get ITINs? There's no other reason the IRS would give someone an ITIN?



The ITIN can never legally be used to work. If you can legally work you aren't eligible for an ITIN but you can get an SSN.

There are people in the country who are here legally but can't work, so instead they get an ITIN. For example they might have investment income on which they pay taxes but they aren't authorized to work. They can't legally use the ITIN to work though. And in fact the moment they do so they cross the line from legal to illegal immigrant.

There are certainly uses for the ITIN that don't involve violating any laws. Working isn't one of them.
"It's hard to have fun at 4-way unless your whole team gets down to the ground safely to do it again!"--Northern California Skydiving League re USPA Safety Day, March 8, 2014

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SivaGanesha

Does anyone know what percentage of illegal immigrants fall into each of the following categories:

1. Work under the stolen social security number of an American citizen

2. Work under the social security number of a friend or family member with permission

3. Work under their own social security number

4. Work in jobs where the job itself isn't a crime but they work under the table for cash only

5. Work solely in criminal enterprises

6. Do not work.



Curious to what results you are coming up with. I would assume 70% fall into 2-4. Of the remaining 30% I would assume its mostly do not work and of those it would mostly be minors and stay at home moms.

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GoHuskers


Curious to what results you are coming up with. I would assume 70% fall into 2-4. Of the remaining 30% I would assume its mostly do not work and of those it would mostly be minors and stay at home moms.



That would definitely be reassuring if true. I haven't seen definitive numbers either way as yet.
"It's hard to have fun at 4-way unless your whole team gets down to the ground safely to do it again!"--Northern California Skydiving League re USPA Safety Day, March 8, 2014

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SivaGanesha

***
Curious to what results you are coming up with. I would assume 70% fall into 2-4. Of the remaining 30% I would assume its mostly do not work and of those it would mostly be minors and stay at home moms.



That would definitely be reassuring if true. I haven't seen definitive numbers either way as yet.

At least--it is reassuring from an immigration perspective. From another perspective it is a bit disappointing that in 2017 we still think in terms of stay at home moms and not stay at home dads.
"It's hard to have fun at 4-way unless your whole team gets down to the ground safely to do it again!"--Northern California Skydiving League re USPA Safety Day, March 8, 2014

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There is actually a much easier way. Those who don't have visa's to work here can still own companies. For instance, if you open a business in several different countries etc... You can open a business in CA for $30 filing fee to have a DBA name. Open a bank account in that business name, have people pay the business and not the person. You have to pay taxes that way, but its nice and neat. The entity breaking the law by employing the individual is the individual themselves since they own the business. Now that doesn't work for staff positions where you have to fill out an I9 as an employee, but it works for freelance positions.

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JayhawkJumper

There is actually a much easier way. Those who don't have visa's to work here can still own companies. For instance, if you open a business in several different countries etc... You can open a business in CA for $30 filing fee to have a DBA name. Open a bank account in that business name, have people pay the business and not the person. You have to pay taxes that way, but its nice and neat. The entity breaking the law by employing the individual is the individual themselves since they own the business. Now that doesn't work for staff positions where you have to fill out an I9 as an employee, but it works for freelance positions.



For the purposes of my original question I consider this essentially the same as working for cash.
"It's hard to have fun at 4-way unless your whole team gets down to the ground safely to do it again!"--Northern California Skydiving League re USPA Safety Day, March 8, 2014

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SivaGanesha



There are people in the country who are here legally but can't work, so instead they get an ITIN.



My ex wife was ineligible to work when she first (legally) came to the USA, but was issued a SSN, along with my 3 and 5 y/o children.
...

The only sure way to survive a canopy collision is not to have one.

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JayhawkJumper

There is actually a much easier way. Those who don't have visa's to work here can still own companies. For instance, if you open a business in several different countries etc... You can open a business in CA for $30 filing fee to have a DBA name. Open a bank account in that business name, have people pay the business and not the person. You have to pay taxes that way, but its nice and neat. The entity breaking the law by employing the individual is the individual themselves since they own the business. Now that doesn't work for staff positions where you have to fill out an I9 as an employee, but it works for freelance positions.



I get the impression that this is how some people in the skydiving world operate down there - using their corporations to provide services. It isn't even necessarily illegal to do so. A US DZ could legitimately state they contract, say, a Canadian corporation to provide services (coaching, packing, video flight, tandem instruction, whatever) and the proprietor could legally enter the US declaring they're going to carry out those services.

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SivaGanesha

***
So are you saying that only illegal immigrants get ITINs? There's no other reason the IRS would give someone an ITIN?



The ITIN can never legally be used to work. If you can legally work you aren't eligible for an ITIN but you can get an SSN.

There are people in the country who are here legally but can't work, so instead they get an ITIN. For example they might have investment income on which they pay taxes but they aren't authorized to work. They can't legally use the ITIN to work though. And in fact the moment they do so they cross the line from legal to illegal immigrant.



The IRS states that there are instances where aliens (resident and non resident) have to pay income taxes for working in the US

https://www.irs.gov/individuals/international-taxpayers/aliens-employed-in-the-u-s

and here it says that aliens (resident and non resident) need to use an ITIN
Quote


You must obtain an ITIN if:
1. You do not have an SSN and are not eligible to obtain one.
And
2. You identify with one of the following categories.
• Nonresident alien who is required to file a U.S. tax return.
• U.S. resident alien who is (based on days present in the United States) filing a U.S. tax return.
• Dependent or spouse of a U.S. citizen/resident alien.
• Dependent or spouse of a nonresident alien visa holder.


I promise not to TP Davis under canopy.. I promise not to TP Davis under canopy.. eat sushi, get smoochieTTK#1

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Do not accept an ITIN in place of an SSN for employee identification or for work. An ITIN is only available to resident and nonresident aliens who are not eligible for U.S. employment and need identification for other tax purposes. You can identify an ITIN because it is a 9-digit number, beginning with the number "9" and is formatted like an SSN (NNN-NN-NNN).
Note: An individual with an ITIN who later becomes eligible to work in the United States must obtain an SSN.

https://www.irs.gov/businesses/small-businesses-self-employed/hiring-employees

The IRS seems to think that an ITIN is only for aliens not eligible for US employment.

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The IRS seems to think that an ITIN is only for aliens not eligible for US employment.



I just realized that my post was messed up and the IRS url didn't show. They give specific advice that contradicts what you just posted

https://www.irs.gov/individuals/international-taxpayers/aliens-employed-in-the-u-s
I promise not to TP Davis under canopy.. I promise not to TP Davis under canopy.. eat sushi, get smoochieTTK#1

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