22 February 2006

Illegal Immigrants Still Pay Taxes

Americans believe that undocumented immigrants are exploiting the United States' economy. The widespread belief is that “illegal aliens” cost more in government services than they contribute to the economy. This belief is undeniably false. “[E]very empirical study of illegals’ economic impact demonstrates the opposite . . . undocumenteds actually contribute more to public coffers in taxes than they cost in social services.” . . . each year undocumented immigrants add billions of dollars in sales, excise, property, income and payroll taxes, including Social Security, Medicare and unemployment taxes, to federal, state and local coffers. Hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants go out of their way to file annual federal and state income tax returns.

Yet undocumented immigrants are barred from almost all government benefits, including food stamps, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, Medicaid, federal housing programs, Supplemental Security Income, Unemployment Insurance, Social Security, Medicare, and the earned income tax credit (EITC). Generally, the only benefits federally required for undocumented immigrants are emergency medical care, subject to financial and category eligibility, and elementary and secondary public education.

From the Tax Profs Blog

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