Things That Matter

DREAMer Gets Hate After Telling The Internet ‘Undocumented Immigrants Pay Taxes Too’

For many people, tax season is a miserable time. Despite the misery, many taxpayers are eligible for government benefits – unless they happen to be undocumented. In a recent Facebook post, DREAMer and DACA recipient Belén Sisa talked about the fact that even though she pays taxes, like other undocumented taxpayers, she is ineligible for many of the benefits citizens receive. 

Belén Sisa’s Facebook post caught fire shortly after being shared.

MYTH BUSTER: I, an undocumented immigrant, just filed my taxes and PAID $300 to the state of Arizona. I cannot receive…

Posted by Belén Sisa on Sunday, March 26, 2017

Posted by Belén Sisa on Sunday, March 26, 2017

Belén’s message was to the point, reminding people that many undocumented immigrants are not leeching off the country, but making it a better place. She even paid $300 to Arizona, a state that hasn’t been the kindest to its undocumented population. Closing out her post, Sisa gave President Donald Trump the old “I’ll show you mine if you show me yours” treatment. I’d say the ball’s in President Trump’s court, but we know where the balls really are in this exchange.

Like many DACA recipients, Belén Sisa came to the U.S. with her parents when she was very young, CNN reports.

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BELÉN SISA / FACEBOOK

Belén came with her parents from Argentina when she was only six years old. They overstayed their visitor visas and lived undocumented in the U.S. for many years. According to CNN, Sisa became eligible for DACA in 2012.

Plenty of people online are showing support for Sisa.

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And because it’s the internet, you know there were also plenty of haters.

Many of them demonstrated a lack of knowledge about what it means to be a DACA recipient. But other people were quick to point out why Sisa’s status is perfectly legit.

One commenter gave a quick lesson on programs that allow people like Sisa to live and work in the U.S.

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BELÉN SISA / FACEBOOK 

And Sisa also took the ignorance to church.

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BELÉN SISA / FACEBOOK 

#BYE ??

Many were quick to point out that her tax returns were blank in the photograph.

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However, one could argue that posting your personal information to Facebook wouldn’t be the brightest idea. Sisa is too smart for that.

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BELÉN SISA / FACEBOOK

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This isn’t the first time Belen Sisa has advocated on behalf of DACA and the undocumented.

And we’re pretty sure this won’t be the last time we hear from Belén Sisa either.

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[H/T:] ‘Undocumented Immigrants Pay Taxes Too,’ DREAMer’s Post Goes Viral

READ: Here’s What ICE Is Saying About The Arrest Of 23-Year-Old Mexican DACA Recipient

Nonprofit United We Dream Is Crowdsourcing Immigrant Recipes For A Fundraising Cookbook

Culture

Nonprofit United We Dream Is Crowdsourcing Immigrant Recipes For A Fundraising Cookbook

unitedwedream / Instagram

During the COVID-19 lockdowns, people have spent a lot of time in their kitchens cooking food to bring them comfort. One unique thing about the self-isolation is that people are having to figure out how to make things stretch or substitute some of your usual ingredients. United We Dream wants to make sure they can do something good with all of the recipes we have created.

United We Dream wants to use your recipes to create some good.

According to an Instagram post, United We Dream is putting together an undocumented cookbook. In the spirit of sharing recipes and cultural moments, United We Dream is asking for people to submit their recipes.

“At United We Dream we believe in the power of art and culture to change hearts and minds and June is the perfect time to tap into our cultural creativity,” reads the United We Dream website. “On Immigrant Heritage Month, we want to celebrate our community through a joyous art form that every household does: cooking!”

The money is going to be used to help the undocumented and immigrant communities.

Credit: unitedwedream / Instagram

According to Remezcla, 100 percent of profits from the book will go to the organization’s National UndocuFunds. United We Dream launched the National UndocuFund to deliver financial assistance to undocumented people struggling during the COVID-19 pandemic. It is likely that the fund will need to do some extra lifting to help communities recovering from recent looting and rioting that has rocked the U.S. in recent days.

“We know that nothing brings people together quite like food,” reads the United We Dream website. “The dishes that immigrants create, no matter how simple or complex, allow people to experience cultures other than one’s own and all the joys and pleasures that come with it.”

The cookbook is already getting people excited.

Credit: unitedwedream / Instagram

There is something to be said about people getting creative in the kitchen during this pandemic. Outings are limited because we are all staying home to slow the spread. There are also people who are still not at work. That is why we have had to get creative to make our food last.

“Today, times are tough because of COVID-19, but many working-class and poor households are embracing their creativity to create meals that both sustain their households and bring a moment of peace and comfort,” reads the United We Dream website. “We want to create a cookbook that reflects our diverse community and inspires memories of joy, comfort and togetherness!”

United We Dream understands the power of food.

Food is a unifier. Everyone eats and food is one way to connect with your culture. It is also a wonderful way to share your culture with other people. Sharing your food and culture with people is a special way to let your friends into your life.

The organization is still taking recipe suggestions. If you want a chance to give more people a look into who you are and your culture through food, click here to share a recipe.

READ: Colorado Organization Raises Money To Offer Relief Checks To Undocumented People In The State

Colorado Organization Raises Money To Offer Relief Checks To Undocumented People In The State

Things That Matter

Colorado Organization Raises Money To Offer Relief Checks To Undocumented People In The State

Carlos Ebert / Flickr / Unsplash

Undocumented people are being left out of relief funds provided by the U.S. government. A lack of a Social Security number is why so many people have been denied relief assistance as the country grapples with an evergrowing number of COVID-19 cases. Organizations and states are stepping up to bridge that gap and give undocumented people a chance to make it through this crisis.

The Village Exchange Center in northern Aurora, Colorado is raising money to help undocumented families in Colorado.

The U.S. Congress passed an initial relief package of $2.2 trillion that came with $1,200 checks for all eligible Americans. One community left out is the undocumented community because they do not have Social Security numbers. This leaves millions of peoples without any financial safety net exacerbating the problems imposed by this pandemic.

The Village Exchange Center has sent 250 undocumented residents $1,000 checks.

According to Sentinel, the Village Exchange Center teamed received funds from the Denver Foundation, the Rose Community Foundation in Glendale, a third anonymous donor, and 30 individual donors. The $250,000 was already dispatched to the recipients chosen by the Village Exchange Center through money transfers or checks, depending on whether or not the recipient had a bank account.

This was the Village Exchange Center’s first round of COVID-19 relief payments to Colorado’s undocumented community.

The organization chose those who would receive the payments based on those who were laid off from jobs at restaurants, hotels, and other service industry jobs.

“They have no access to unemployment, they will not be getting a stimulus check or any other form of assistance, even though most of them pay taxes,” Mark Newhouse, a trustee at the Denver Foundation, told Sentinel. which helped build the fund. “And so, we quickly raised a quarter of a million dollars to run a pilot across the state.”

The organization is basing its work on the actions of California.

On April 15, California Governor Gavin Newsom announced a state fund created to offer undocumented people relief funds. Gov. Newsom allocated $75 million in taxpayer money to give to undocumented people living in California. There are an estimated 2.2 million undocumented immigrants who live in California. Undocumented people contribute more than $10 billion in taxes to the federal government when they file each year. Gov. Newsom’s administration has been sending undocumented people $500 checks to help ease their COVID-19 economic impact.

“We feel a deep sense of gratitude for people that are in fear of deportations that are still addressing essential needs of tens of millions of Californians,” Gov. Newsom said according to The Associated Press. The governor continued by acknowledging that 10 percent of California’s workforce is undocumented. Gov. Newsom also highlighted that undocumented workers in California paid $2.5 billion in local and state taxes last year.

The Village Exchange Center is currently raising more money to offer to more undocumented people living in Colorado.

The first round of money was already distributed but the application for the next round of money will be available when the funds are secured. According to Sentinel, there were 180,000 undocumented people who lived in Colorado. The Village Exchange Center’s goal is to raise enough money to give each undocumented people in Colorado a $1,000 check to ease the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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