The Atlantic: The Truth About Undocumented Immigrants and Taxes

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"As rhetoric about illegal immigration dominates this election cycle, it’s hard to argue that undocumented immigrants drain the system. It’s true that not all undocumented workers pay federal income and social security taxes; many are still paid in cash and never fill out W-2 forms, so it’s unclear how many of them independently file tax returns as self-employed contractors. The Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, a Washington, D.C., think tank, estimates that about half of undocumented workers in the United States pay income taxes. They also help fund public schools and local government services by paying sales and property taxes like any other resident. This added up to about $10.6 billion in state and local taxes in 2010, according to an analysis by the institute."

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