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A new report from the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP) offers yet another reminder why the U.S. Supreme Court unfreezing immigration executive action policies would be a good thing for America — it would be a massive boon to our tax coffers.
The ITEP report offers national and state-by-state estimates on how much undocumented immigrants currently pay in both state and local taxes. The report also estimates the additional taxes that would be collected if undocumented immigrants could become legal, through the passage of immigration reform legislation, as well as the additional tax contributions that would result from the Supreme Court upholding the legality of the DAPA and Expanded DACA immigration executive action programs. As ITEP recaps:
“The 11 million undocumented immigrants currently living in the United States collectively paid $11.64 billion in state and local taxes. ITEP’s analysis finds their combined nationwide state and local tax contributions would increase by $805 million under full implementation of the administration’s 2012 and 2014 executive actions and by $2.1 billion under comprehensive immigration reform.”
As Meg Wiehe, ITEP’s State Tax Policy Director, said, “Regardless of the politically contentious nature of immigration reform, the data show undocumented immigrants greatly contribute to our nation’s economy, not just in labor but also with tax dollars.”
Later this spring, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear US v. Texas – the case to decide the fate of the immigration executive action policies that allow certain immigrants with longstanding ties to the United States to live and work legally. The stakes of this case are extremely high. If the Supreme Court does the right thing and unfreezes DAPA and DACA expansion, it will transform the lives of American children and families, create jobs, expand GDP, and as the new report demonstrates, be a boon to tax collection.
In addition to being beneficial, the immigration executive action policies are legal and built on historical precedent, including the immigration executive actions of recent Republican presidents. In fact, every president since Eisenhower has taken executive action to shape immigration priorities over the last 50 years, including Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush. See here for a good legal assessment of why the Supreme Court should uphold these policies.