By Justin Valas

Our beloved blog master, Domenic, is out of the country for the next couple of months, and we are anxiously awaiting his return! In celebration of his well earned time abroad, he devoted a lot of effort into organizing a march and protest in Greensboro against the government’s “Tax and Deport” policy towards undocumented immigrants.

In a recent encounter with Senator Kay Hagan in Cary, we confronted her with the reality that, in fact, undocumented immigrants do pay income taxes. Billions of dollars worth. Dollars from which they cannot benefit. Despite their contributions to prolonging the solvency of Social Security for anti-immigrant firebrand William Gheen’s 80-year old internet fighter pilots, they live under constant threat of deportation. This is a system in which the government knowingly accepts tax revenue with one hand, while deporting these taxpayers with the other.

Viri and the CrowdPhoto by Justin Valas

The NC DREAM Team gathered together with members of Cakalak Thunder, the Farm Labor Organizing Committee, Faith Action International House, NC Justice Center, the Beloved Community Center, the Almighty Latin Kings and Queens Nation (ALKQN), and other community members to march from the Beloved Community Center to the IRS office to protest this “Tax and Deport” policy.

MLK Jr BustPhoto by J. Valas

The crowd numbered around 50 persons, but reached a much larger audience (see some of the press coverage here). People stopped eating to read signs and ask questions as we marched through downtown Greensboro. We were there to inform the crowds that flocked to the storefronts and restaurant windows that undocumented immigrants pay more than their fair share into government coffers and are then scapegoated as a drain on the economy.

I pay for Kay Hagan's SalaryPhoto by J. Valas

This is a myth that even Senator Hagan seems to embrace. When Rosario told Senator Hagan that she too was a taxpayer, Senator Hagan responded by saying, “I mean legal tax-payers.” What is so illegal about paying taxes? Is there an Illicit Revenue Service soliciting funds on behalf of the government? The words etched upon the edifice of the US Treasury building in Washington, DC assert that “Taxes are what we pay for civilized society.” Are undocumented immigrants not simply upholding that statement by former Justice of the US Supreme Court Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.?

Is it illegal to pay taxes?Photo by J. Valas

If Senator Hagan is truly committed to protecting taxpayers through immigration reform, I guess the question that we are left with is- what part of taxpayer doesn’t Senator Kay Hagan understand?

Loida, Viridiana, and RosarioPhoto by J. Valas