Whether you’re a US citizen who cares about your state’s economy or an undocumented worker who wants to become a legal resident, you’ll be interested in the results of this new study, “Undocumented Immigrants’ State and Local Tax Contributions” by the non-partisan Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP).
According to this study, our state economies stand to reap great benefit if more undocumented workers are allowed legal status. The 11.4 million undocumented immigrants currently living in the United States collectively paid $11.84 billion in state and local taxes in 2012. ITEP’s analysis finds their combined nationwide state and local tax contributions would increase by $845 million under full implementation of the administration’s 2012 and 2014 executive actions and by $2.2 billion under comprehensive immigration reform. The study concluded that undocumented workers paid an estimated 7.3 percent of their income in taxes. They would pay about 10 percent more in taxes if they were able to live and work in the state legally.
The institute analyzed 2012 data from the Migration Policy Institute, the Fiscal Policy Institute, the Pew Research Center and Congressional Budget Office.
“The numbers alone make a compelling case for reform,” said Matthew Gardner, executive director of the nonpartisan institute.
Floridians for Immigration Enforcement (FIE). a group opposed to President Obama’s immigration reform plan, says research by the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy doesn’t take into account how much undocumented workers and their families cost Florida, which FIE says is well beyond what they pay in taxes.
However, FIE also acknowledges that legal immigrants are more educated and, therefore, make more money and pay enough taxes for the state services they use.
In fact, the ITEP quoted a Congressional Budget Office report estimating that undocumented workers could receive about a 12 percent boost in pay if they became legal. In Florida, that would help the state collect about 10 percent more in total taxes.
This news is great for all of us. When granted legal status, undocumented immigrants stand to make more money; our states stand to collect more taxes on their income; and American citizens no longer have to worry about competing with undocumented workers who are often forced to accept low salaries and wages.
It is time to stop allowing politics to interfere with common sense, humane policies. Allowing families to stay united across borders is not only the right thing to do, but it may just benefit us all.
If you or someone you know needs the help of an immigration attorney, please contact us today to schedule your