In a November interview with CNN host Erin Burnett, Trump asked “Do you think an illegal immigrant getting money is going to be paying taxes.” Trump’s question started a debate in our country as to whether undocumented immigrants were paying government taxes and contributing to the nation’s economy. It appears that Trump may have posed a question without a clear answer. A study by the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy revealed that undocumented immigrants in the U.S bring in billions in the form of income, property, sales or excise taxes. Approximately 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the United States pay $11.6 billion per year in taxes. These include property, income, sales taxes as well as contributions to Social Security and Medicare. This figure would increase by 806 million if the executive action taken by President Barack Obama are approved. The 2012 DACA would give relief to about 1.2 million people who were younger than 16 when they came unaccompanied or were brought here. The 2014 initiative DAPA would allow an estimated 3.6 million parents to apply for relief. Together, the categories make up about 46 percent of the estimated 11 million people living in America without authorization.
Critics point out that it is important to examine the large percentage of undocumented immigrants who are actually avoiding income taxes. Although the studies suggest that 50 percent pay into the system that means millions of others could be avoiding taxes. The Heritage Foundation think tank reported in 2013 that “In 2010, the average unlawful immigrant household received around $24,721 in government benefits and services while paying some $10,334 I taxes.” In other words, some research finds that despite the billions paid to the U.S government in form of taxes, there is still evidence that undocumented immigrants are a net drain on government resources. Trump comment clearly brought on some heated debates about undocumented immigrants and the issue of taxes.
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‘Undocumented’ Immigrants and Taxes