This is a blog about my thoughts and experience I have gathered as an immigrant. I have decided to share them because I know there are thousands of people who would make the decision to leave their country in search of a better life. I want to warn them of the dangers ahead, give them a few helpful tips and prepare them for the changes they will face as they embark on this journey.

Why Do Restaurants Hire Illegal Workers?

There was an article recently about the federal government cracking down on Chipotle restaurants for hiring illegal immigrants. http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2011/02/chipotle-chain-targeted-federal-immigration-audits.html. The article was not biased, just stating the facts. What really upsets me is reading the vain, self-righteous comments of people screaming “ILLEGALS OUT”. These are people who have never met and talked with an illegal themselves and maybe never owned a restaurant for that matter. I hear from them three main arguments all the time: illegal immigrants work for less, they steal our jobs, and they do not pay taxes.

How to File Your Tax Return in America

This article is in direct response to questions from my students.

Q: Who Pays Taxes?
Everyone who works and lives for more than six months in the United States is required to pay some taxes. If you do not work, then you do not pay taxes. What and how many taxes you pay depends on your immigration status. Foreign students on F1 or J visas pay only federal and state taxes and/or local. All others are required to pay also Medicare and Social Security taxes.

Q: What do my taxes mean?
Federal Income Tax means you are paying a percentage of your income to the Federal Government. State taxes go to the State you live in and Local Taxes go to the city or town you live in.