The Yearbook of Immigration Statistics is a compendium of tables that provides data on foreign nationals who, during a fiscal year, were granted lawful permanent residence (i.e., admitted as immigrants or became legal permanent residents), were admitted into the United States on a temporary basis (e.g., tourists, students, or workers), applied for asylum or refugee status, or were naturalized. The Yearbook also presents data on immigration law enforcement actions, including alien apprehensions, removals, and prosecutions.
A new study released by the Immigration Policy Center for tax day shows that at least half of the undocumented immigrants in this country pay income taxes. Add that to the sales and property taxes that those undocumented persons also pay and undocumented immigrants pay more in taxes than most wealthy Americans.
The total amount of tax revenue collected in state and local taxes is approximately $11.2 billion, including $1.2 billion in personal income taxes, $1.6 billion in property taxes and $8.4 billion in sales taxes.
The numbers don't come as much of a surprise to those who track immigration policy. According to Wendy Sefsaf, communications director for the American Immigration Council, the current political movement to restrict, criminalize and punish immigrants will come at a steep price to states.
According to Sefsaf "[t]he restrictionist movement in the U.S. spends all their time letting everyone know how much [undocumented immigrants] cost us, and they try to ignore the fact that they contribute. We are not trying to say there are not costs associated with people. There are costs associated with everyone. But we are trying to balance out the debate."
States like Florida, for example, which collects about $806.8 million from unauthorized immigrants and does not have a state income tax would certainly feel the impact should a significant amount of that population leave. That revenue comes from immigrants buying groceries, rent and other necessities subject to sales and property taxes.
The bottom line is to suggest that undocumented immigrants are nothing but a revenue suck on states is simply wrong. While that will likely not change the conversation for those who have committed to making attacking immigrants the wedge issue of the moment, as Sefsaf notes, the only way to have an honest conversation about changing immigration policy is with a full set of facts.
Highly skilled temporary and permanent immigrants in the United States now outnumber lower-skilled ones, marking a dramatic shift in the foreign-born workforce that could have profound political and economic implications in the national debate over immigration.
This shift in America’s immigration population, based on census data, is summarized in a report released Thursday by the Brookings Institution. It found that 30 percent of the country’s working-age immigrants, regardless of legal status, have at least a bachelor’s degree, while 28 percent lack a high school diploma.
The shift had been in the works for the past three decades, a period that has seen a dramatic increase in the population born outside the United States. But in 2007 the percentage of highly skilled workers overtook that of lower-skilled workers.
The trend reflects a fundamental change in the structure and demands of the U.S. economy, which in the past decades transformed from an economy driven by manufacturing to one driven by information and technology. The report also offers a new perspective on the national immigration discourse, which tends to fixate on low-skilled, and often illegal, workers.
“Too often the immigration debate is driven by images on television of people jumping over fences,” said Benjamin Johnson, executive director of the American Immigration Council, an immigrant advocacy organization. “The debate has been stuck in the idea that it’s all about illegal and low-skilled workers.”
Steven Camarota, director of research at the Center for Immigration Studies, an organization that advocates for tighter immigration restrictions, said the report raises other concerns.Read more...
If there was ever any doubt that the only thing President Obama is truly gifted at is getting people to hope for change, we need look no further than his recent announcement to review the cases of up to 300,000 illegal immigrants facing deportation.
Too bad it's false hope.
Despite initial excitement of the immigrant advocacy organizations who are fighting for nothing less than a full 1980s-style amnesty -- and the correlated anger from conservatives who believe that last week's decision to re-evaluate the existing enforcement priorities is just that -- this is not a big step in immigration policy.
This latest Obama re-election campaign stunt won't affect 97 percent of the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants in our country. It is causing a lot of confusion within the very communities it is supposed to assuage, and it is further alienating those who must come to the negotiating table to hammer out a compromise for our immigration quagmire.
Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer chimed in quickly after the news broke, denouncing this plan as a "backdoor amnesty." She and others can be forgiven for initially thinking that. At first blush it sounded as though, at the very least, 300,000 lucky souls who were close to being deported had gotten a reprieve.
Many immigration experts and advocacy organizations are urging caution. They're scrambling to tell the immigrant community to not turn themselves in to authorities or try to get themselves detained for the purposes of becoming "legal." The possibility -- and it is just a possibility -- of getting a slate cleaned is open only to the 300,000 already in the pipeline for deportation. Each case will be reviewed by a panel and, if the case is closed, legal resident status will not be granted.Read more...
The Court examined whether a state drug-trafficking offense, for which state law authorizes a ten-year sentence because the defendant was a recidivist, qualifies as a predicate offense under the Armed Career Criminal Act, 18 U.S.C. § 924(e). In a 6-3 decision, the Court concluded that it does. The decision is available on the Supreme Court’s website. Read more...
October's newsletter features Josue Jeanty as our exchange visitor of the month, gets in the spirit of Halloween with Spooky American Literature, and answeres the question "what if I run into a problem at my host company?