Arizona Student's Post About Her Taxes Goes Viral

Belen Sisa, an undocumented immigrant, was trying to make a point
By Gina Carey,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 28, 2017 2:14 PM CDT
Activist Belen Sisa presents Representative Paul Gosar (AZ-4) with a petition to support immigration reform.   (Belen Sisa YouTube)
camera-icon View 1 more image

(Newser) – An Arizona State University junior found herself in the crosshairs of internet commenters over the weekend after posting a photo of herself holding her tax return to Facebook. AZCentral reports that Belen Sisa, an undocumented immigrant who came to the US with her parents from Argentina at age 6 and stayed even when their visas expired, received over 4,500 reactions to the post. It has since been set to private. Sisa, who is protected from deportation and is lawfully able to work under President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy, wrote that though she paid $300 in state taxes in 2016, she isn't entitled to benefits such as financial aid for school. But she says her point wasn't to complain: "I decided to post it basically to bust the myth that immigrants don’t contribute and they don’t pay taxes to this country."

While some responses to Sisa’s photo were reaffirming, others were threatening. Sisa posted over 30 screenshots of harassing messages from strangers who accused her of voting illegally and lying, while others said they reported her to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and hoped she’d be deported. But Sisa, an activist who speaks widely on immigration reform, says she is not intimidated. Though she cannot vote, Sisa worked as a page at the Democratic National Convention and volunteered in Latino outreach for Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign, showing up in this NPR story on the latter. In a Facebook update on Sunday, she wrote, “They will not tear me down. My heart is too full, my passion to help and fight for others burns too bright. I know who I am, I know what I stand for and the values I hold.” (Read more University of Arizona stories.)

My Take on This Story
Show results  |