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Pay Your Taxes, 12 Million Illegal Immigrants Depend on You!

Undocumented immigrants pay billions every year in taxes, while not being able to receive many tax funded benefits, and the rest of the country depends on those funds.

On a recent trip to Cape Cod, I saw the herein pictured bumper sticker, “Pay Your Taxes / 12 Million Illegal Aliens Depend on You."

As an immigration attorney, I love immigration and also a good debate, so it took all I had not to embarrass my family by picking a bone with the truck owner.

The question is though, who depends on whom? And for what? And, the topic of this blog, why do people seem to assume that “illegal aliens” don’t pay taxes?

The statistics are clear that they DO pay taxes. Billions of dollars’ worth. The US depends on the labor and money provided by this segment of our population and on their annual billions in taxes (about $8 billion in Social Security alone).

In a report addressing exactly this topic back in 2007, Congress concluded: “Over the past two decades, most efforts to estimate the fiscal impact of immigration in the United States have concluded that, in aggregate and over the long term, tax revenues of all types generated by immigrants—both legal and unauthorized—exceed the cost of the services they use.” The Congress of the United States - Congressional Budget Office. 12-2007.

All knowing Wikipedia (C’mon, who hasn’t quoted Wikipedia?!?) provides, “the evidence suggests that the overall costs imposed on the U.S. economy by undocumented immigrants are equivalent to or outweighed by the benefits”.

The Social Security Administration estimates that 75% of undocumented immigrants are actually on formal payrolls and are paid by check just like anyone else. This means that, just like everyone else, they receive a paycheck with the corresponding tax already deducted. Like most people in the labor force, these tax payers would likely be eligible to receive a good chunk of those payments back yet many are too scared to actually file a tax return – though many more are doing so with the introduction of a non-Social Security tax identification number (ITIN). Through these automatic payroll deductions undocumented immigrants pay into Social Security (again, an estimated $8 billion every year!) but they can never claim Social Security benefits like the documented sector of the population.  And of course, while most of us have a right to the benefits our taxes fund – like welfare, food stamps, and unemployment insurance, undocumented immigrants will never benefit from those programs, despite the fact that they help fund them.

So, who depends on whom? While other immigration topics may provide for a good heated debate, the claim that “illegal immigrants don’t pay taxes” is just not true, let alone the assertion that they somehow depend on tax funded benefits that they are not eligible to receive.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Joe Rizoli June 09, 2012 at 05:01 AM
Kira, as to your original article here about taxes I would read this link that Jim posted. It starts off talking about The Rizoli's and the group CCFIILE. >>http://www.drclas.harvard.edu/files/Brazilian%20Immigrant%20Participation.pdf << 1, The article on the printed page 2 mentions that Framingham had at that time 14-20 THOUSAND Brazilians Immigrants. ( We still believe it was more but this is good ) Right Donald? 2, Jim Rizoli is quoted on page 3 saying: "we do not have a problem with legal aliens who come that are trying to do it right" ( Rizoli's are NOT racist or hate "immigrants" that are legal ) 3. Now, as to Kira's article: this VERY important quote page 7. >>That...Self-employed, undocumented immigrants ( are ) the subgroup least likely to pay income taxes>> and that p 8 >>Many Brazilians in Massachusetts have started the own construction, painting, and cleaning companies instead of seeking employment in other peoples businesses>> pp 100>>However, many Brazilian immigrants who took the survey indicated that they do not routinely pay taxes on their income.>>' pp 114>>Undocumented subcontractors were the subgroup of immigrants least likely to pay income taxes.>> Kira, do you see what this article proves? The "illegal" Brazilians are mostly SELF Employed and they are the LEAST likely to pay income taxes.. Joe Rizoli
Joe Rizoli June 09, 2012 at 07:00 AM
Ok let's keep track of the civility that Mary talks about. How about being called names like imbecile, nitwits. And the latest "village idiots" Mary, you're doing a great job. Apparently the rules for Patch only apply for a few. Joe Rizoli
Joe Rizoli June 09, 2012 at 09:16 AM
Joao, human trafficated to Framingham >>The human trafficking network that has sprung up around the transport of Brazilians to the United States via Mexico is extensive and sophisticated. One of the people whom I interviewed, João, told me about the illicit network that oversaw his trip from Minas Gerais to Boston. He paid a travel agent in Brazil to arrange his journey, which began with a flight to a Mexican border city. Once there, João was connected with a professional smuggler who hid him underneath some blankets in the back of a car and drove him into the United States. The man then took him to an airport in California and put him on a plane to Boston, Massachusetts. When João arrived in Boston, yet another smuggling network employee picked him up at the airport and drove him to his brother’s apartment in the nearby town of Framingham. There, João’s brother paid the driver the remaining sum of money that João owed to the human trafficking organization for his safe arrival in Massachusetts.<< PP 20.. http://www.drclas.harvard.edu/files/Brazilian%20Immigrant%20Participation.pdf Joe Rizoli
Jim Rizoli June 09, 2012 at 09:56 AM
There are some that think that the illegals come her haphazardly but as you can see its a fine tune organization that runs it. We've been telling you this for years but you refuse to listen. Sad to see how the Americans are contributing to this modern day slave trade and refuse to speak up. When people like us do say something we're labeled as haters and racist. The real heaters are the ones that allow this to go on. Jim@ccfiile.com Bw
Mary MacDonald June 09, 2012 at 11:31 AM
I cross-posted this blog because I thought it offered a perspective on immigration that people would be interested in reading in Milford. But I don't want to police these comments all weekend and I think we've heard enough.

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