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Utah’s Hatch wants immigrants to pay back taxes

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"How much do you make this, from the illegal immigrant point of view, a burden that can’t be borne?" he asked rhetorically.

Madeline Sumption with the Migration Policy Institute, a group that wants to see reforms, said essentially this debate is more about politics and the perception of fairness, rather than good tax policy.

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"People don’t like the idea that there are some people who should have paid taxes and didn’t," she said. "The natural inclination is to want to correct that situation, but the problem is that there are not any good tools to do that."

Hatch and Lee acknowledge their efforts would ultimately rely on the honesty of each immigrant, but they say that’s better than not attempting to collect the income tax revenue.

"I don’t have a desire to gouge anybody," Hatch said. "Their obligation is to perform like our citizens have to. Why would we expect less from those who really have not played by the rules."


Twitter: @mattcanham

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