Report: the Undocumented pay Billions in Taxes

So lets put another myth to rest, the one that says that undocumented workers don’t pay taxes.

First of all, lets agree that we understand the superficial error in the statement – no one escapes paying taxes, unless you’re dead or a multi-millionaire and can afford the loopholes. The idea that an entire segment of the population, more than 50 million strong, could somehow pass undetected by the IRS is laughable.  Second, let’s make sure we understand a basic truth: everyone pays taxes as they go about their daily lives. We pay sales taxes when we buy groceries; transportation taxes when we get license plate tags or buy gasoline; property taxes when we pay our mortgage or our rent.

Even the undocumented, who live among the shadows for fear of being detained, pay their share t0 the government treasury.

That’s easy to say, so I’m glad that the Immigration Policy Center studied how the undocumented workers and their families pay local, sate and federal taxes , and then calculated the total for 2010 -it puts a concrete number on a flimsy idea.

Overall, in 2010, the undocumented payed $11.32 billion in taxes – that’s billion, with a “b.” California and Texas lead the list of states ranked by their undocumented tax burden. In 2010 they paid $2.7 and $1.6 billion respectively.

To quote the Immigration Policy Center report:

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.  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 as well.

Another thing that people need to keep in mind is that in order to pay taxes you have to have a job. So the idea that the undocumented come to the US to loaf on the government’s dime is beyond serious consideration.

And here’s something that’ll turn the stereotype in its head: half of the undocumented in the US pay income taxes – income taxes!

If you want to see a state-by-state breakdown of taxes paid by undocumented workers, check out the table on the IPC post.

Follow Victor Landa on Twiter: @vlanda

[Photo by wools]


Subscribe today!

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Must Read

Autism now more common among Black, Hispanic kids in US

Victor Landa March 27, 2023

For the first time, autism is being diagnosed more frequently in Black and Hispanic children than in white kids in the U.S., the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said […]

The EPA’s soot pollution update falls dangerously short for Latinos

Victor Landa March 12, 2023

On Jan. 6, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a proposal to strengthen the annual standards for fine particulate matter, commonly known as soot, from 12 ug/m3 to between 9 and 10 […]

Republicans are winning more Latino votes. But rising turnout still benefits Dems.

Victor Landa

The red wave never came to pass in 2022 — but there was a noticeable shift among Latino voters in the midterms, who still tilted toward Democrats overall but reached […]

Opinion: In Hollywood, Latinos are still waiting for their close-up

Victor Landa

Carolyn Curiel served as a U.S. ambassador and White House senior speechwriter in the Clinton administration. Latinos will be an integral part of the Academy Awards on Sunday. You likely […]

Latino Republicans push back on party’s immigration agenda

Victor Landa March 15, 2023

MIAMI (AP) — More than half of the residents in the slice of Miami that includes Little Havana were born abroad. And when Republican U.S. Rep. Maria Elvira Salazar ran […]

Young Latino leaders unlikely to see Jews as targets of systemic discrimination, says poll

Victor Landa March 20, 2023

Latino millennial and Gen-Z thought leaders are increasingly unlikely to see Jews as the target of systemic discrimination, according to a new survey commissioned by the American Jewish Committee (AJC). […]

Racial equity news coverage of Latinos is lacking, a new study finds

Victor Landa

Latinos are barely part of the conversation in newspapers and online media outlets covering the issue of racial equity and racism, a new study has found. Only about 6% of […]

Latino families face tough circumstances with ballooning college debt

Victor Landa March 15, 2023

Editor’s note: This story first appeared on palabra, the digital news site by the National Association of Hispanic Journalists. By Rich Tenorio Iliana Panameño wanted to get a master’s degree in social […]