Despite the widespread belief that immigrants with no legal status never file or pay taxes, the fact is that according to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), almost 4.5 million immigrants with no Social Security numbers filed federal tax returns last year. Instead, these individuals use Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers (ITINs) to file tax returns, which is a common sign that they have no legal status to be in the United States. This group of taxpayers, despite their lack of legal status, paid almost $24 billion in federal taxes. Obviously, this is a substantial contribution to the American economy that many citizens do not realize exists. The crackdown on immigrants who have no legal status by the Trump administration, however, has had a definite impact on individuals with ITINs who have filed tax returns in the past. Evidence from taxpayer assistance programs this year suggested that the number of individuals using ITINs to file taxes has substantially decreased, by as much as 20% in the San Francisco Bay Area. Anecdotal evidence from other areas of the country suggests similar decreases in the number of taxpayers with ITINs. Although the IRS is prohibited from sharing taxpayer information, such as addresses, with other government agencies, including the Department of Homeland Security, this class of immigrants is distrustful of the prohibition. This is particularly the case given the current administration’s stance on immigrants and deportations. With the number of deportations steadily increasing, immigrants with no legal status increasingly fear deportation, both for themselves, and for their families. The consequences of deportation are grave; many families face a permanent separation from their children and other relatives, which is a risk that they are unwilling to take. At Landerholm Immigration, A.P.C., we are watching the new administration’s policies regarding deportation closely. Whether the administration continues the current crackdown or not, we are dedicated to protecting the rights of detained noncitizens and working toward their release from detention. We know how to evaluate your case, explore your options, and provide you with the strongest defense against removal possible. Contact your California deportation defense attorneys today and set up an appointment to speak with our legal team.