Undocumented Paid $11.2 Billion In Taxes in 2010

By Efrain Nieves

According to a study made by the Institute for Taxation and Economic Policy, undocumented immigrants paid $11.2 billion in taxes in 2010.  Undocumented immigrants, specifically of Latino origin have long been accused of not paying their share of taxes and mistakenly told not to be contributors to the United States. For example, Guy Farmer of Carson City, Nevada writes in his article titled “The high cost of illegal immigration” published in  nevadaappeal.com:

Do illegals pay their fair share? No they don’t, not by a long shot, which was confirmed by a 2007 Congressional Budget Office study showing that tax revenues  generated by illegals (mostly through sales taxes) fall far short of covering  the total cost of services provided to those immigrants.

As a writer Mr. Farmer should know he must back up these facts with links and numbers. The article Farmer writes provides no such evidence. Yet, his opinion has an overwhelming audience who follow these lies based only on distortions from anti-Latino advocates.

Since Pa’lante does its research before publishing sensitive data, here are some facts from the Immigration Policy Center:


 The Institute for Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP) has estimated the state and local taxes paid in 2010 by households that are headed by unauthorized immigrants. These households may include members who are U.S. citizens or legal immigrants. Collectively, these households paid $11.2 billion in state and local taxes. That included $1.2 billion in personal income taxes, $1.6 billion in property taxes, and $8.4 billion in sales taxes. The states receiving the most tax revenue from households headed by unauthorized immigrants were California ($2.7 billion), Texas ($1.6 billion), Florida ($806.8 million), New York ($662.4 million), and Illinois ($499.2 million) {See Figure 1 and Table 1}. These figures should be kept in mind as politicians and commentators continue with the seemingly endless debate over what to do with unauthorized immigrants already living in the United States. In spite of the fact that they lack legal status, these immigrants—and their family members—are adding value to the U.S. economy; not only as taxpayers, but as workers, consumers, and entrepreneurs as well.

Whether some people want to cover these facts for their political gains or personal agendas then that is another argument. Numbers do not lie, that is our advantage and our policy of truth.

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2 Responses to “Undocumented Paid $11.2 Billion In Taxes in 2010”

  1. How much is generated by undocumented immigrants who pay taxes with ITINs (Individual Tax Identifications Numbers)? The voluntary nature of these taxes seems like it would provide particularly compelling support for this argument, but I don’t know the figures.

    • Great question. I did some research and it seems the 2010 report has yet to surface. But I did find various articles along stating the IRS reported 3.8 million ta returns filed with ITINs in 2009. Hope that helps. Thanks for the comment.

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