Unexpected Benefits of Obama’s Immigration Executive Actions

A central criticism of Barack Obama’s November executive orders for immigration reform is that they were not well thought-out and leave room for possibly detrimental interpretations.

That certainly seems true in terms of how taxes are being applied to deferred action recipients. The IRS announced in March that illegal immigrants with deferred action will be able to claim tax breaks retroactively for three years.

This means that deferred action recipients could, potentially, receive three years of tax returns in one fell swoop.

This would, of course, lay an unreasonable burden on the U.S. government, but that’s if it actually comes to fruition.

One fact that seems to be largely ignored is that just because someone can do something, they might not necessarily do it, even if it contributes positively to their economic utility.

For an illegal immigrant to claim the past three years of back-returns, they would somehow have to document their illegal work and file three separate returns.

Not only would finding proof of illegal work (which is normally not the most transparently documented thing) be very difficult, but filing these returns would create a paper trail that would might be used in a person’s immigration proceedings, perhaps even endangering any claims to immigration benefits.

It is probably true that the executive orders were not thoroughly examined, but this ignores their likely purpose.

In a mostly obstructionist government where President Obama’s plans are likely to be shot down in Congress, the president created these executive orders as a sort of protest.

They are supposed to serve as a catalyst to get real immigration reform through Congress. A Congress that instead of bemoaning a mistake that probably won’t have much of an impact should probably work on immigration reform bills.

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