Undocumented Immigrants’ State & Local Tax Contributions

Lisa Christensen Gee, Matthew Gardner, Misha E. Hill & Meg Wiehe
Date of Publication: 
March, 2017
Source Organization: 

Public debates over federal immigration reform, specifically around undocumented immigrants, often suffer from insufficient and inaccurate information about the tax contributions of undocumented immigrants, particularly at the state level. The truth is that undocumented immigrants living in the United States pay billions of dollars each year in state and local taxes. Further, these tax contributions would increase significantly if all undocumented immigrants currently living in the United States were granted a pathway to citizenship as part of a comprehensive immigration reform. Or put in the reverse, if undocumented immigrants are deported in high numbers, state and local revenues could take a substantial hit.

Accurate information about the tax contributions of undocumented immigrants is needed now more than ever. To better inform the ongoing debates on immigration policy reform, this report provides state-by-state and national estimates on the current state and local tax contributions of the 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the United States as of 2014, and the increase in contributions if all these taxpayers were granted legal status as part of comprehensive reform.  

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Gee, L. C., Gardner, M., Hill, M. E. & Wiehe, M. (2017). Undocumented Immigrants’ State & Local Tax Contributions. Institute on Taxation & Economic Policy. Retrieved from https://itep.sfo2.digitaloceanspaces.com/immigration2017.pdf