Study: Illegal Immigrants Pay $11.8 Billion In Taxes

A new study has concluded that illegal immigrants are paying billions of dollars each year in taxes, and that a substantially larger amount of revenue would be generated under implementation of programs aimed at reform.

Released on Thursday, the study is the work of the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, a research organization that is both non-profit and non-partisan. Their findings reveal that around 8.1 million undocumented, illegal immigrants were responsible for paying $11.8 billion in state and local taxes over the course of 2012. As the Fiscal Times notes, the nationwide tax contribution by illegal immigrants is estimated to increase by $845 million under the executive actions issued by President Obama in 2012 and 2014. Should comprehensive immigration reform be undertaken, the institute estimates that number would rise to $2.2 billion.

Matthew Gardner, executive director of ITEP, argued that the tax numbers were themselves enough of a reason to pursue that kind of far-reaching immigration reform.

“This analysis shows that undocumented immigrants already are paying billions in taxes to state and local governments, and if they are allowed to work in the country legally, their state and local tax contributions would considerably increase.”

President Obama’s executive orders are currently enmeshed in a legal battle over their implementation, as the Inquisitr has previously reported. Earlier this month, a federal judge in Texas, Andrew S. Hanen, refused to lift a preliminary injunction he placed upon the president’s immigration program, claiming that such an action would result in irreparable harm.

On Friday, lawyers from the Justice Department appeared before a Federal Appeals Court in New Orleans, arguing to lift the injunction. As the New York Times points out, though similar cases are usually decided through legal briefs, the high profile nature of the immigration case resulted in each side arguing for an hour, twice the time generally allotted for Supreme Court cases.

The institute also found that the effective total tax rate for illegal immigrants nationwide is around 8 percent, when both state and local taxes are taken into account. Conservative groups like the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), however, have asserted that federal expenditures relating to illegal immigration far outstrip tax receipts from the undocumented population.

Though the Senate approved a bipartisan, comprehensive plan on immigration reform in 2013, the legislation died in the House of Representatives, as conservatives steadfastly oppose any measures that grant amnesty to illegal immigrants.

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