Undocumented Workers Fear Paying Taxes Under Trump Administration

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com)  — The tax deadline looms and some people told CBS2’s Randy Paige this year they fear filing.

And the fear has nothing to do with potentially owing money.

He spoke to an undocumented woman who has lived in the United States more than 20 years. He spoke with her under the condition her identity would not be revealed.

She’s worked as a housekeeper and helped raise her three children, one now in college.

The woman told Paige she does plan to file this year, but she had major concerns about doing so. She admitted being scared.

“Yes, I am afraid,” she said, “But I want to file my income taxes because I want the president to know I’m here contributing to society.”

Paige also spoke to an immigration attorney.

“I’m seeing a lot of fear in the immigrant community whether to file their income taxes or not,” said Alex Galvez, whose office is across the street from the downtown immigration court.

He said many of his clients are afraid to file taxes under the Trump administration.

Paige asked Galvez what he’s advising his clients to do.

“I’m telling them to go ahead and file income taxes. One of the first questions if you’re in removal proceedings or before an immigration officer is whether you have filed your income taxes and although there is this belief that undocumented individuals don’t file income taxes, that couldn’t be further from the truth,” Galvez said.

The IRS said in a statement,  under federal law, “tax information cannot be shared with another government agency and that includes the Department of Homeland Security.”

Galvez said he’s never had an instance where a client was contacted by immigration enforcement because they filed taxes and got information from the IRS.

“Never,” he said.

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