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Tax Season Highlights How TPS Holders Contribute to U.S. Economy

 

Increases Urgency For Congress to Pass the Dream and Promise Act, Preventing the Forced Deportations of TPS Holders and Dreamers

With tax season upon us, Steph Solis at Mass Live reports that Massachusetts Temporary Protected Status (TPS) holders are making enormous contributions to our economy and growing our nation’s tax base. To that end, the National TPS Alliance displayed a symbolic $4.6 billion check representing their contributions to the U.S treasury in the Boston Common Tuesday morning, showing how forced deportations will hurt our nation’s economic activity.

The article is excerpted below and available online here.

As the tax deadline rolls around in Massachusetts, immigrants with temporary protections lobbying for a path to citizenship argued that their deportation could cost the country billions in the long term.

“We are not asking for charity. Temporary Protected Status families have already contributed to this country,” said Jose Palma, coordinator for the National TPS Committee and a TPS recipient from El Salvador.

Palma, other members and their children stood in the Boston Common Tuesday morning, a day before Massachusetts residents’ taxes are due, holding a large symbolic check in the amount of $4.6 billion symbolically made out to the federal government. A study published on Monday from the University of Southern California estimates that’s how much immigrants with temporary protections contribute in federal, state and local taxes. The study suggests that the country could lose $35.2 billion in gross domestic product if immigrants with temporary protections leave the country.

“For the last 20 years, I have been doing my taxes every year,” said Palma, a Lynn resident who works as a paralegal for Justice At Work. He arrived in the U.S. in 1998 and received temporary protections in 2001 after a 7.6-magnitude earthquake struck El Salvador.

More than 12,000 Massachusetts residents have protections under TPS, a humanitarian program that offers a work permit to foreign nationals of countries marred by civil war, natural disasters, health epidemics and other crises. The U.S. grants TPS to eligible nationals of El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Nepal, Nicaragua, Somalia, South Sudan and Sudan.

…Immigrant advocates argue that sending TPS recipients back to their native countries would not only endanger them, but hurt the economy.

USC’s Dornsife Center for Immigrant Integration partnered with the Center for American Progress, a left-leaning think-tank, and found that the bill could help nearly 1.3 billion people who have temporary protections or live with someone who does. The report released on Monday suggests that their sum of household income is about $17.9 billion and that nearly 26 percent, or $4.6 billion, goes to taxes.

Massachusetts’s 5th congressional district, represented by Democratic Congresswoman Katherine Clark, had one of the highest tax contributions from these recipients. About 4,100 immigrants with temporary protections live in the district, according to the Center for Immigrant Integration.

“I’m paying taxes every year. I think that’s a way to contribute to the community and to the government,” Doris Landaverde, a custodian at Harvard University, said Tuesday at the Boston Common.

…If she loses her protections under TPS, Landaverde said she would be sent back to El Salvador and be separated from her husband and daughters.

…“It’s bad for our economy, it’s bad for our neighborhood, it’s bad for our businesses if we do not support TPS holders,” said Boston City Councilor Lydia Edwards. “If we do not stand with them and make sure that they stay here, then it will actually be worse for us and worse for our economy.”

Edwards said these immigrants are contributing more than major companies such as Starbucks and Amazon.

“And yet here we are having this horrible conversation about whether they should stay here or not, and the fact is they’re everything that this country strives to be,” she said.

Somerville Mayor Joseph Curtatone said his family immigrated from Italy and built their life in the city in the 1950s.

“They built a better home and life for their family and their community,” he said. “Immigrants today are doing the same thing in Somerville and around the nation.”