This is the occasional reminder that I consider substantive differences few among these alternatives: illegal aliens, illegal immigrants, and undocumented workers. I personally use “undocumented workers”. But when citing a source such as a news article I usually defer to the source’s preference.
Contradictions abound. Do Lou Dobbs’ illegal aliens pay taxes? Apparently a lot – with no prospect of getting Soc Security or Medicare benefits.
According to the New York Times, since enactment of the Immigration Reform and Control Act in 1986, which imposed stricter alien identification rules, a lot of underground taxpayers appeared. The Feds have
…Received a flood of W-2 earnings reports with incorrect – sometimes simply fictitious – Social Security numbers. It stashed them in what it calls the “earnings suspense file” ….
The file has been mushrooming ever since: $189 billion worth of wages ended up recorded in the suspense file over the 1990’s, two and a half times the amount of the 1980’s.
In 2002 alone, the last year with figures released by the Social Security Administration, nine million W-2’s with incorrect Social Security numbers landed in the suspense file, accounting for $56 billion in earnings, or about 1.5 percent of total reported wages.