BY GUSTAVO ARELLANO
SPECIAL DIA DE LOS IMPUESTOS EDITION
Dear Mexican: Sitting on my desk is a levy from the Internal Revenue Service for over $12,000 in unpaid taxes. Turns out some dude used my Social Security number for two years in Albuquerque to get paid and didn't bother to pay taxes. It's taken me plenty in time and attorney's fees to figure it out, and we're still fighting with the feds so that I can continue to get paid for doing MY job. If the 12 million number of illegals getting thrown around is real, it's a safe bet I am not alone. Stealing ID numbers is a widely unreported crime that does have victims. As a card-carrying liberal whose grandfather was a Mexican immigrant, my feelings toward this are pretty mixed. What are your thoughts on this? — I'm Really Sad
Dear IRS: Thoughts on what? Identity fraud? Muy bad. Unpaid taxes? Even worse. And when illegal immigrants do it to wabs like you? Chingao, the Mexican gets his chonis in a bunch. It's one thing to use someone's identity with their permission—as I'm currently doing gracias to a generous pendejo named Gustavo Arellano —but quite another to screw over an unwitting individual. But the most infuriating thing about this situation? Ultimately, the government wins. Even if an illegal immigrant doesn't file his or ella taxes, the government still takes out Social Security and Medicare impuestos that neither the offending illegal or the SSN's rightful owner can claim without wrapping themselves in bureaucratic red tape. Rather than immediately investigate most discrepancies, the Social Security Administration dumps the money into something called an "earning suspense file" and lets it subsidize the current Social Security pool to the tune of more than $7 billion annually. Coffin-dodging gabachos should be grateful for the illegals' infusion, but let's not kid: Rather than revile people so desperate for a better life that they break numerous laws for that chance, shouldn't we criticize the system that makes it so damn easy to do it (insert cricket chirps from Know Nothings here)? By the way, the Federal Trade Commission estimates that number of identity theft victims has gone down despite the illegal alien invasion of the past couple of years, from nearly 10 million cases in 2002 to 8.3 million in 2005 to 8.1 million last year.
I understand that Dallas spent several million dollars for a Latino cultural center a couple of years ago and is now considering spending money for an Asian cultural center. Please explain why the city is spending money on things like this instead of hiring a few more police and fire people with names like Gonzalez and Chen. Also, when do we get an Irish Cultural Center to celebrate our rich cultural heritage of whiskey, poets, fistfights and rain? — The Leprechaun
Dear Mick: If you're looking for a bit of Eire, move to San Francisco, Phoenix, Chicago, New York, Philadelphia and the many other cities in the United States that host Irish cultural centers. I'm with you that city officials should spend taxpayer money primarily on infrastructure and services, but the way you and other gabachos whine about ethnic studies and cultural centers being exclusionary is mystifying. Mira, the only reason why Mexicans, chinitos, negritos and every other aggrieved minority group in this country demand recognition for their cultural contributions is because they went a good two centuries being treated as Sambos, chinks and beaners. Besides, cultural institutes are manifestations of what the legendary Columbia sociologist Herbert Gans deemed symbolic ethnicity: the idea that America's ethnics eventually become assimilated and choose what parts of their heritage to celebrate. So celebrate, America! For every Cesar Chavez Day and Cinco de Mayo holiday imposed upon the land by P.C. pendejos, that's just one step closer for Mexicans to become Americans.
The Mexican now offers ustedes an online-only question every week through the powers of a pirated Camcorder. Submit your video preguntas and responses at youtube.com/askamexicano, and view the latest edition every week alongside my regular column at www.eugeneweekly.com
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Gustavo Arellano is an investigative reporter on staff at the OC Weekly in Orange County, California. His "¡Ask a Mexican!" column began in 2004 and today is syndicated in 32 publications nationwide. He is also the author of a book by the same name. An extensive interview with Arellano can be found in the EW archives online for Nov. 29, 2007. Arellano can be contacted at TheMexican@AskAMexican.net