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Immigrants to Tea Party Protestors on Tax Day: "We'll Pay!"

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Washington, DC – On April 15, thousands of people associated with the Tea Party movement are expected to rally around the nation, demanding lower taxes and less government.  These so-called “tea parties” stand in stark contrast to larger rallies and other events that have cropped up across the nation calling for comprehensive immigration reform and a rational solution to our broken immigration system. The immigration reform events provide an interesting contrast to the Tea Party movement because comprehensive immigration reform is about getting more people into the tax system, not less.

In fact, several studies have shown that comprehensive immigration reform would create millions of new taxpayers and bring in billions of new tax dollars, strengthening Social Security and growing the economy by $1.5 trillion without raising tax rates.

“While many Americans are undoubtedly thinking about taxes at this time of the year, it’s important to remember that the entire story is not about who hates government and taxes,” said Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice. “Immigrants, no matter their legal status, neither hate our government nor oppose paying taxes. Those who are undocumented love this country and want to become legal residents in good standing, and importantly, they very much want to pay their full and fair share of taxes. That’s why they and their supporters have participated in immigration reform rallies around the country, not to rail against the government but to make the case to become fully part of the economic mainstream.”

Below are some key facts that the Tea Party may want to keep in mind:

  • $1.5 trillion – the amount by which comprehensive immigration reform legislation would grow the economy over the next 10 years according to a recent study by Raul Hinojosa-Ojeda for the Immigration Policy Center and the Center for American Progress.
  • $4.5 – $5.5 billion – the amount of new tax revenue that would be generated over the next three years by passing comprehensive immigration reform legislation, according to the same report.
  • $180 billion – the amount that U.S. household income would increase from passing comprehensive immigration reform, according to the conservative CATO Institute.
  • $285 billion – the cost to implement the mass deportation policy favored by opponents to comprehensive immigration reform, according to a new study by the Center for American Progress.  This eye popping amount would pay the annual salaries of every elementary school teacher in America for three and a half years.
  • $1.757 trillion – the amount in annual lost spending if we were to eliminate the undocumented immigrant population from the United States, according to a 2008 study by the Perryman Group.
  • $2.6 trillion – the amount the nation’s economy will lose in GDP if a policy of mass deportation were to be implemented according to the Center for American Progress.

“These numbers speak for themselves,” Sharry said. “Immigrants not only increase our tax base, they also boost our economy overall.”  

America’s Voice — Harnessing the power of American voices and American values to win common sense immigration reform.