ASU 'dreamer's' viral Facebook post about paying taxes, draws ire and threatsPosted: Updated:
An Arizona State University student who a self-professed “dreamer” is facing all kinds of social media backlash, including personal attacks and threats, for a Facebook post she labeled “MYTH BUSTER.”
Belén Sisa, 23, is a Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals recipient, which means that even though she is not a citizen and does not hold a visa or green card, she is allowed to live, study and work in the U.S. free from the threat of deportation for a specific renewable length of time. DACA recipients like Sisa, who came here from Argentina on a visitor’s visa with her parents, must meet several criteria. Any significant criminal history disqualifies the applicant.
The Facebook post that spawned the online attacks on Sisa was about taxes and featured a photo of her holding a blank 1040 tax form. In the first line, she identified herself as an undocumented immigrant. In the last, she tagged President Donald Trump.
MYTH BUSTER: I, an undocumented immigrant, just filed my taxes and PAID $300 to the state of Arizona. 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. Oh and there are MILLIONS just like me who pay into a system they will never receive anything from. 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? How about you show me yours Donald J. Trump? #HereToStay
The reaction to the March 26 post was swift. And generally not positive. In addition to calling her vile names and accusing her of lying, many of the Facebook users who messaged Sisa -- strangers to her -- claimed to have reported her to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
One person said he reported Sisa to the INS, which has not existed as an agency since 2003.
"Breaking the law is [expletive deleted] in the first place. Bragging about it is despicable," one man wrote. "Your attention seeking post has done just that... gotten a lot of attention. I wouldn't be surprised if you get a knock on your door very soon."
"Reported you to ICE and Homeland security. Crime doesn't pay lady," another wrote.
"You really should have thought twice before you committed an act of war by invasion thinking you have a right to a voice in my country," a woman wrote.
"You think people are entitled to this country and its resources by merely entering and (maybe) paying taxes," reads another message. "You're disgusting and I hope that you and you family will be sent back to the lesser country that your ancestors built."
Sisa, whose Facebook name is BelenDREAMS, grabbed screenshots of some those negative messages and shared them hours after her first post.
“The HATE is real guys,” she wrote. “The hate is real. I am legally working in the United States through DACA, and I'm pretty sure the IRS isn't going to come after someone who PAYS their taxes. I truly feel bad for these people, may they find peace and happiness in their own dark hearts.”
She followed up Monday with a message for her “undocumented brothers and sisters who are affected” and those who have sent her messages of support.
“It is incredibly hard and painful to stand up and tell the truth, especially when it is not the popular thing to do,” Sisa wrote. “Our will to change this world and fulfill our mission will never be stopped by the people who are so unhappy with themselves that they try to pull us down with them. 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.
"Near or far, I am in solidarity with you, the fighters, the dreamers, the changemakers, and status quo shakers," wrote in closing.
As of Tuesday morning, Sisa's original post had received more than 4,500 reactions and had been shared more than 2,600 times. That's in addition to the direct messages.
Passionate and politically active, Sisa worked as a page for the Arizona delegation to the Democratic National Convention last summer.
“There is an undocumented student at every school,” Sisa told Selena Makrides of Cronkite News at the time. “Although we can’t cast a ballot, it’s important that we’re in the middle of the decision making.”
Sisa's story has garnered national attention.
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