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Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Undocumented Immigrants Are Taxpayers, Too

As Tax Day 2008 comes to a close, it is important to challenge one of the common myths that undocumented immigrants take advantage of human services while doing nothing to support our economy. In addition to working some of the hardest, most essential jobs, immigrants contribute to the economy by paying the same state and federal taxes as everyone else.

Research from the Immigration Policy Center shows that between one-half and three-quarters of undocumented immigrants pay federal and state income taxes, Social Security taxes, and Medicare taxes. In addition, all residents of the United States regardless of their legal status pay sales taxes on food and goods at stores and property taxes, even if they just rent housing.

The Oregon Center for Public Policy estimated in 2006 that undocumented immigrants in Oregon paid state income, excise, and property taxes, as well as Federal, Social Security and Medicare taxes, which totaled "about $134 million to $187 million annually.” In addition, “taxes paid by Oregon employers on behalf of undocumented workers total about $97 million to $136 million annually.” And Although they pay tax dollars to Oregon State, undocumented workers are ineligible for the Oregon Health Plan, food stamps, and temporary cash assistance.

So the next time someone tells you that undocumented immigrants don’t pay taxes or contribute their fair share to the economy, remember that the facts show that they actually do.

For more information on Undocumented Immigrant Taxpayers, see the articles below:

  • It's Tax Time! Immigrants and Taxes: Contributions to State and Federal Coffers

  • Assessing the Economic Impact of Immigration at the State and Local Level

  • Undocumented Workers Are Taxpayers, Too

  • Undocumented Immigrants as Taxpayers

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