Today’s illegal immigration debate has taken a new meaning in America with passionate arguments coming from both sides of the aisle. The conservative movement focuses on the negative impacts illegal immigration has on the economy coupled with the unforeseen dangers it can impose on society while the liberal movement focuses on the humanitarian side of the argument and the possible benefits that can arise from increased diversity. Until recently, the liberal movement would mostly argue on the platform that America was built on immigration and we should overlook policy and abide by the quote branded before Lady Liberty:
“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.”
There has been a growing number of progressives within the liberal movement attempting to argue on behalf of the economic benefits that can arise from illegal immigration. This is a catastrophically flawed argument that can only be considered credible by ignoring undeniable cost burdens that are saddled on U.S. taxpayers. Let’s be very clear, there is no overall economic benefit from illegal immigration. Liberal-progressives can argue on virtue all they want in this debate, but they cannot argue economic benefit.
The Institute of Taxations and Economy Policy (ITEP), a pro-Illegal Immigration organization, argues the following in a report published February of 2016:
“Undocumented immigrants nationwide pay on average an estimated 8 percent of their incomes in state and local taxes (this is their effective state and local tax rate). To put this in perspective, the top 1 percent of taxpayers pay an average nationwide effective tax rate of just 5.4 percent.”
Bluntly, this entire statement is an outright lie. There is no income tax applied to illegal immigrants since they typically work under-the-table, thus nothing is deducted from their pay. This statement is an attempt to equate sales tax, and/or any other point-of-purchase taxes, with the income tax that Americans have deducted from their paychecks. The income of illegal immigrants is not taxed, plain and simple. The taxes illegal immigrants pay are taxes that Americans pay also. All of us pay sales tax since it is collected at the point of sale, however illegal immigrants dodge the taxes that are designed to be deducted from paychecks since they are paid in cash.
The above statement from ITEP also claims “the top 1 percent of taxpayers pay an average nationwide effective tax rate of just 5.4%.” This is wildly inaccurate and one cannot conceive how ITEP calculated this percentage. On June 4 of 2015, 8 months prior to ITEP publishing the above statement, the effective tax rate for the top 1 percent of American taxpayers was calculated to be 22.83 percent, as reported by the Washington Post. On April 11 of 2017, the Peterson Foundation published a report in which they stated, “even with substantial tax expenditures, the top one percent of American taxpayers still pay an effective tax rate of approximately 31.9%.”
In September the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), a Washington D.C. non-profit committed to studying immigration issues, published a detailed analysis of the cost burdens that illegal immigration poses to the United States. The report calculates all government services and benefits that are consumed by illegal immigrants through both state and local services which include education, medical, law enforcement, and welfare. FAIR calculated that, in total, the illegal immigrant population within the United States costs a total of $134.9 billion dollars annually. For all of the liberal-progressives that claim illegal immigrants pay taxes, the government reported to have collected $19 billion. Leaving a disparity of $116 billion dollars that they American taxpayer is on the hook for.
The deceptions identified in ITEP’s argument stands to reason when you consider registered voters tend to list the economy as the most important issue in selecting a candidate. Liberal-progressives are perusing an illogical attempt to identify economic benefits where there aren’t any to be discussed. Thus they have taken to mischaracterizing tax calculations and outright lies as a means to persuade the American public. A tact that could very well diminish their credibility in other areas of the political arena.