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Illegal immigrants pay $11 billion in taxes a year

Published on Mon, Apr 25, 2011

Unlike certain corporate powers that make billions of dollars and pay no taxes, illegal immigrants generate billions of tax dollars for state governments. allgov.com

The Institute for Taxation and Economic Policy has concluded that unauthorized immigrants paid $11.2 billion in taxes last year. This total included $1.2 billion in personal income taxes, $1.6 billion in property taxes, and $8.4 billion in sales taxes. allgov.com

The U.S. Immigration Policy Center says these figures should be kept in mind as politicians and commentators continue with the seemingly endless debate over what to do with unauthorized immigrants already living in the United States. sun-sentinel.com

The Washington-based research group says in spite of the fact that they lack legal status, these immigrants -- and their family members -- are adding value to the U.S. economy; not only as taxpayers, but as workers, consumers, and entrepreneurs." sun-sentinel.com

HIGHLIGHTS

California gets the most out of its undocumented workers, pulling in $2.7 billion in taxes from households headed by illegals in 2010. laweekly.com

Other states that gained the most revenue from illegal immigrants paying taxes were Texas ($1.6 billion), Florida ($807 million), New York ($662 million), and Illinois ($499 million). allgov.com

They were followed by Georgia ($456 million), New Jersey ($446 million) and Arizona ($433 million). allgov.com

Some undocumented workers in California say they are filing income tax returns, hoping that playing by the rules will be an eventual path to citizenship. UPI

FACTS & FIGURES

An estimated 11 to 12 million undocumented immigrants live and work in the United States. That's roughly one in every 20 workers. Reuters

The Obama administration has deported more illegal immigrants from the U.S. than ever before. NPR

Undocumented workers are willing to work for lower wages and minimal or no benefits, therefore enabling employers to make higher business profits. usliberals.about.com

Employers often threaten undocumented immigrants with deportation, thus these workers cannot effectively assert their rights in the workplace. Alternet.org

According to a study by the Cato Institute, a free market think tank, legalization of low-skilled illegal resident workers in the U.S. would result in a net increase in U.S. GDP of $180 billion over 10 years. Newsweek

Mass deportation of undocumented immigrants would cost the United States $285 billion. thinkprogress.org

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