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Undocumented Immigrants Add $11.7 Billion to State & Local Coffers

The Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP) recently released its report on the tax contribution to the economy by undocumented immigrants in the United States -- and it's HUGE. 

Ranging from half a million dollars in Montana, to over three billion dollars in California, undocumented immigrants across the country pay about 8 percent of their income in taxes.

Further, ITEP finds that putting undocumented immigrants on a path to citizenship would increase their tax contributions by an additional $2 billion each year.

Like other Americans, undocumented foreign born pay state and local taxes on purchases (as much as $7 billion), and they pay property taxes on their homes (as much as $3.6 billion) -- or make possible their landlords' property tax payments. 

At least 50 percent of all undocumented foreign born households file income tax returns (paying an estimated $1.1 billion) -- and many others have taxes deducted from their paychecks even though they do not file tax returns.

These numbers are dwarfed by the undocumented foreign born contributions to Social Security. CNN reported in 2014 that the Social Security Administration estimates that over $100 billion has been collected in the past decade from undocumented immigrants -- who have no legal claim to that money. 

Congress is well aware of these numbers. So it is hoped, rhetoric aside, Congress more favors immigration reform than not.

Gordon Landefeld