Failed to Pay Taxes? Americans Face Jail Time, Illegal Aliens Receive Amnesty

One of the major talking points from the Gang of Eight before they released their “comprehensive” immigration reform bill was that amnestied illegal aliens would be required to pay back taxes in order to receive legal status—“registered provisional immigrant” (RPI) status. However, as many Americans now know, such a requirement is not actually contained in the 1,000 plus page bill.

Rather, the Gang of Eight gives illegal aliens a free pass for not paying taxes, whereas U.S. citizens and legal immigrants committing the same offense face jail time and hefty fines. Under current law, any person “who willfully fails to pay” taxes owed are guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction, face a fine up to $25,000, imprisonment not more than one year, or both. (26 U.S.C. 7203) And, any person who “willfully attempts in any manner to evade” taxes are guilty of a felony and upon conviction, face a fine up to $100,000, imprisonment not more than five years, or both. (26 U.S.C. 7201)

So will illegal aliens be subject to these same penalties as Americans if they’ve failed to pay taxes? Not under the Gang of Eight’s amnesty bill. Under their amnesty legislation, illegal aliens only need to pay taxes “assessed” to qualify for RPI status. But “taxes assessed” are of course different from “taxes owed.” Taxes assessed requires the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to either affirmatively record an individual’s owed taxes, or actually audit an individual. Accordingly, under the Gang of Eight bill, the issue of whether illegal aliens will actually have pay back taxes is left up to the discretion of the IRS to figure out at a later date—if at all. (See FAIR Legislative Update, Apr. 29, 2013)

While the federal government routinely uses its broad authority to prosecute U.S. taxpayers who violate our tax laws, illegal aliens who have unlawfully worked in the U.S. will continue to get a free pass if the Senate passes the Gang of Eight’s amnesty bill. Thus, although U.S. taxpayers must pay back taxes; penalties; fines; interest; and potentially jail time, the Gang of Eight essentially grants illegal aliens blanket amnesty for violations of tax law.

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Content written by Federation for American Immigration Reform staff.


  1. avatar

    The imperial Obama monarchy is a part the elite welfare permanent political class that has been extracting the wealth and abusing the taxpayers for way too long. A tax revolt is the only way to stop these parasites. Reduce the flow of revenue to stop the waste,fraud and abuse.

  2. avatar
    Debra Guenterberg on

    Google Robert Guenterberg..2 illegal hispanics used his SSN to work and get credit for12 years..IRS knew and these illegals were nonfilers..I talked directly with Director of the IRS…she told me that the IRS does not have enoughresourses to go after these illegals..

  3. avatar

    Our politicians through their treasonous acts will turn this country back into the wild west. If the illegals do not have to abide by the law neither does the rest of the country. It will be a free for all. There might be a run on barb wire and guns.

    • avatar

      There is already a run on guns. But just try to buy shells. The government is buying nearly all of them. Ammo companies are making a bundle.

  4. avatar

    The United States Senate, selling out you and the country our ancestors built for us. They went out and settled a wilderness and our government is handing the keys to the country to law breakers. If there is ever anyone who wonders why there is so much cynicism about our government, look no further than this issue. Every single solemn assurance of several months ago about how “tough” this bill would be has been turned upside down. There is no enforcement, no penalties, just an invitation for further lawlessness.

      • avatar

        what goes around comes around and while I realize this seems blatant and wrong, it will come to pass that God, nature if you will, will balance things out philosophically.

      • avatar

        Barry is handing it over. With a bow on top! He’s probably going to Africa check out the Real Estate for sale so he can move there when he totally destroys America.

    • avatar

      Excuse me, but while I agree with your sentiment, for my people this was not a wilderness, this was our front and backyard, and I’ll stop there. I think I could have written a better Bill than the gang of eight with only a fraction of the pages and included securing the borders, no amnesty and no complaints except liberals.