US immigrants pay billions of dollars in taxes each year

New Americans are vital to the US economy.
New Americans are vital to the US economy.
Image: AP Photo/Eric Gay
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Although president Donald Trump complains often and loudly about the costs he says immigrants impose on the United States, the numbers show a very different reality.

As tax filing season comes to a close, New American Economy, a bipartisan immigration research and advocacy group founded by former NYC mayor Michael Bloomberg, would like you to know just how much immigrants contribute to US coffers each year:

  • Immigrant households earned $1.5 trillion in total income and paid $405 billion in taxes in 2017
  • DACA-eligible residents earned $23.4 billion and paid $2.2 billion in federal taxes, and nearly $1.8 billion in state and local taxes
  • Immigrants with temporary protected status paid over $891 million in federal taxes and another $654 million in state and local taxes
  • Undocumented immigrants—who have more than $200 billion in total spending power—paid $27.2 billion in federal, state, and local taxes.

The organization further calculated the net economic benefit of immigrants to individual states, which comes to more than $12 billion in Texas, $18 billion in New York, and $38 billion in California.

Immigrants help drive the economy in several ways, Andrew Lim, director of quantitative research at New American Economy, tells Quartz. New arrivals fill critical gaps in the US labor market, wielding significant spending power that pumps “much-needed money into local economies, supporting businesses across the United States.”

“Given that immigrants are younger, less likely to commit crimes, and are less likely to be eligible for welfare programs like Social Security or Medicare,” says Lim, “they end up contributing more money into the economy than they take out in public services like education, healthcare, and public safety.”