“Just filed my taxes and PAID $300 to the state of Arizona.”
Belén Sisa recently did what many Americans are doing this time of the year: she paid her taxes. But when she posted a selfie with her tax form, it went viral.
That’s because the Arizona State University junior is an undocumented Dreamer. Sisa and her parents visited the United States from Argentina when she was 6 and overstayed their visas, according to USA Today.
The 23-year-old is currently a DACA recipient, which means she’s shielded from deportation thanks to the Obama administration’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. The program also allows undocumented immigrants to apply for work authorization and a Social Security number.
When Sisa posted a photo of her Form 1040 on Sunday morning, she wrote a caption explaining her undocumented status to bust the myth that undocumented immigrants don’t pay taxes and benefit from government aid.
“I, an undocumented immigrant, just filed my taxes and PAID $300 to the state of Arizona,” she wrote in the caption. “I cannot receive financial aid from the state or federal government for school, I cannot benefit from unemployment, a reduced healthcare plan, or a retirement fund. I think I’m a pretty good citizen.”
Sisa also noted there were many more undocumented immigrants like her who pay taxes “into a system they will never receive anything from.” In 2014, the chief actuary at the Social Security Administration told Vice News that undocumented immigrants have paid about $100 billion into Social Security since 2004.
The student and former Latino outreach organizer for the Bernie Sanders presidential campaign received dozens of hateful messages in response to her photo, with many saying they reported her to Immigration and Customs Enforcement authorities.
She posted screenshots of the messages on her Facebook profile.
In her caption, she responded by saying the “hate is real” and telling everyone she likely won’t be removed for being a DACA recipient who pays her taxes.
But Sisa’s first post wasn’t just about shining a light on the truth about undocumented immigrants and taxes. She also called out President Donald Trump for having refused to release his full tax returns.
“Wanna tell me again how I should be deported, contribute nothing and only leech off this country while the 1% wealthiest people in this country steal from you everyday?” she wrote. “How about you show me yours Donald J. Trump?”