Top 5 Reasons Why Immigration Reform Means More Tax Revenues

AP/Bebeto MatthewsAP/Bebeto Matthews

By Patrick Oakford | April 15, 2014

In 2013 the Senate passed the bipartisan Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act, or S. 744, which the Congressional Budget Office, or CBO, found would have significant fiscal and economic benefits for the nation. Yet since its passage, the House of Representatives has dragged its feet and failed to act on meaningful reform. This inaction means that the United States has already missed out on billions of dollars in potential tax revenues.

As millions of Americans file their taxes [each year], it’s important to remember that our broken immigration system diminishes our potential tax revenue. The following are the top five reasons why immigration reform would increase tax revenues:

1. 5 million more workers and their employers would pay payroll taxes

While unauthorized immigrants currently contribute more than $13 billion in payroll taxes each year, millions of undocumented immigrants are still working in the informal economy and being paid off the books by their employers. Estimates by the Social Security Administration and the Pew Research Center indicate that 63 percent of undocumented workers and their employers don’t pay payroll taxes. Immigration reform with a pathway to citizenship would allow an estimated 5 million unauthorized immigrants and their employers to get on the books and pay payroll taxes.

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