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.
The LAC's credible threat to sue the U.S. Department of Labor has caused the DOL to agree to reopen Backlog Elimination Center (BEC) cases erroneously closed for alleged failure to respond to a 45-day letter. 30- DAY DEADLINE FOR RESPONDING!
Under AILF's Threat to Sue, DOL Agrees to Reopen BEC Cases
30- DAY DEADLINE FOR RESPONDING!**
AILF's credible threat to sue the U.S. Department of Labor has caused the DOL to agree to reopen Backlog Elimination Center (BEC) cases erroneously closed for alleged failure to respond to a 45-day letter. This agreement includes cases where the employer or attorney never received the 45-day letter and also where they received the 45-day letter and timely responded, but the case was nonetheless closed.
In March 2005, DOL adopted a new system for filing applications for labor certifications, known as the Program Electronic Review Management (PERM). The new system only applies to applications filed on or after March 28, 2005. When it adopted this new system, DOL already had pending before it over 300,000 labor certification applications that had been filed under the old system but had not yet been decided. This backlog of pre-PERM cases is not being handled under the new PERM system.
DOL set up two BECs to handle all of the backlogged cases - one in Dallas and one in Philadelphia. Throughout 2005, DOL shipped the 300,000 plus backlogged cases from around the entire country to these two BECs.
The BECs began sending a "45-day" letter to the employer/attorney in every one of the backlogged cases. These letters request that the employer/attorney check a box on an enclosed form if they want to proceed with the case. If the employer/attorney fails to respond to the letter within 45 days, BEC closes the case.
There were serious problems with the BECs' management of the 45-day letter process. The two primary problems were:Read more...
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...
The International Exchange Center is proud to announce Bronwyn Cambridge as this month’s Exchange Visitor of the Month. Each month, we select an exchange visitor who has made an effort to get involved in his/her community and explore American culture.
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...
Mayorkas v. DeOsorio, No. 12-930 (cert. granted June 24, 2013)
The Supreme Court will hear oral argument on December 10, 2013 in the Child Status Protection Act (CSPA) case Mayorkas v. DeOsorio. The Court will consider whom Congress intended to benefit by INA § 203(h)(3), a provision which allows beneficiaries of certain visa petitions to retain earlier priority dates after “aging-out” (turning 21) and losing child status. The government sought Supreme Court review of an en bancdecision of the Ninth Circuit holding that § 203(h)(3) applied to derivative beneficiaries of the Family 3d and 4th preference categories, as well as those in the Family 2A category. DeOsorio v. Mayorkas, 695 F.3d 1003 (9th Cir. 2012). In so holding, the Ninth Circuit rejected the Board of Immigration Appeals’ interpretation of § 203(h)(3) as applying only to derivative beneficiaries of the Family 2A preference category. Matter of Wang, 25 I&N Dec. 28 (BIA 2009).
The American Immigration Council is amicus in this case. Read more about our CSPA litigation on our Child Status Protection Act website.