Undocumented immigrants are contributing over $11 billion to the U.S. economy each year

Immigration has been a hot button topic in this year’s Presidential race. Democratic candidates Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton are battling to cement their message of a more humane immigration policy instead of following in the steps of President Obama who has a record of mass deportations.

New economic data from Florida shows that undocumented immigrants contributed $588 million annually in state and local taxes. Altogether across the United States, undocumented immigrants contribute about $11.6 billion to the economy annually, including nearly $7 billion in sales and excise taxes and $3.6 billion in property taxes according to state and local tax data analysis published by the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP).

In economic terms, these numbers prove the undocumented immigrants are productive members of society and pay a higher tax rate than the top 1 percent income bracket. This doesn’t put forth the idea that all undocumented immigrants should be accepted, but it does dispel the notion of immigrants being lazy and depleting the economy.


The economy would see an even greater boost by having the executive actions of President Obama rolled out for undocumented youths and parents. Deportation relief would be granted to youths who arrived as children without authorization and for undocumented parents that have children born in the United States. Up to 5.2 million undocumented immigrants could be granted relief and could contribute an “an estimated $805 million a year” in state and local taxes.

According to the ITEP, calculations estimate that state coffers could gain about $2.1 billion annually on top of the current $11.6 billion by essentially handing out green cards. According to ITEP executive director and report author, Matt Gardner, more benefits would come about if undocumented immigrants were incorporated into the system.

Currently undocumented families will earn more once they’re incorporated into the system. That obviously means they’re going to pay more taxes in their income, they’re going to spend more, they’re going to pay more sales taxes on their spending.” said Gardner.

[The Nation

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