One of President Trump’s justifications for declaring a national emergency to justify the diversion of previously appropriated federal funds to build a border wall on the U.S.-Mexico border has been the “billions and billions of dollars” that undocumented immigrants cost American taxpayers. In a recent news article, one reporter shows just how untrue this justification is, despite the widespread belief of the American public in it.
In fact, not only do undocumented immigrants contribute billions of dollars in federal taxes each year, which helps keeps Medicare and Social Security solvent, but they also pay billions of dollars in state and local government taxes each year. According to a 2017 report by the Institute on Taxation & Economic Policy, in 2014, which is the most recent year for which data is available, undocumented immigrants paid about $11.7 billion in state and local taxes. These taxes include not only state income taxes, but also sales taxes, excise taxes, and property taxes, which fund things like highway repairs, emergency services, state courts, schools, garbage collections, and other municipal services.
Payment of state and local taxes by undocumented immigrants are highest in states with the largest populations, such as Texas, California, and New York. Estimates indicate that the state of Texas alone collected $1.6 billion in state and local taxes from undocumented immigrants in 2014. As a result, the federal government’s insistence on curtailing both legal and illegal immigration could be quite costly to individual states. The loss of undocumented immigrants, then, would be unlikely to result in financial savings to states. In many states, including in Texas, the absence of undocumented immigrants could result in the loss of billions of dollars in state and local tax revenue. Our goal is to assist you with your immigration concerns, whether family or business-based. We can evaluate your situation and develop the strategy that is most likely to be efficient and effective in your case. Regardless of the immigration matter that you are facing, the attorneys of Peek & Toland have the experience, knowledge and reputation that you want and need to advocate on your behalf. When results matter most, contact us at (512) 474-4445.