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New Jersey Governor Presidential frontrunner Donald Trump with new sidekick, NJ Governor Chris Christie, following Super Tuesday wins. (Photo Credit: John Moore)

By Felicia J. Persaud

News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Fri. Mar. 4, 2016: Last November, when Donald Trump appeared on CNN, he, as usual, pushed back against host Erin Burnett when she insisted that undocumented immigrants contribute to government taxes.

“Excuse me, excuse me,” said Trump who has said he hates paying taxes and pays as little as he can. “Do you know how few pay in taxes? Don’t be naïve. Do you think an illegal immigrant getting money is going to be paying taxes? OK, sure. Some probably do. But only because the employers are insisting on it. But, percentage-wise, there is very little.”

But the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy is proving Trump wrong again. But then again, what else is new with The Donald!

An updated 50-state study, ‘Undocumented Immigrants’ State and Local Tax Contributions,’ by the Institute released on February 24th, finds that 11 million undocumented immigrants currently living in the United States collectively pay $11.64 billion in state and local taxes per year. That’s close to what The Donald claims he is worth – at least his gross worth; definitely not the net!

Additionally, undocumented immigrants’ nationwide average effective state and local tax rate – the share of income they pay in state and local taxes – is an estimated 8percent. Compare that to the top 1 percent of taxpayers nationwide, who pay an average effective tax rate of just 5.4 percent.

Another slap in the face for Republicans fighting against the Obama Administration’s executive actions is that the ITEP’s analysis finds that the combined nationwide state and local tax contributions of undocumented immigrants would increase by $805 million under full implementation of the administration’s 2012 and 2014 executive actions and by $2.1 billion under comprehensive immigration reform.

“Regardless of the politically contentious nature of immigration reform, the data show undocumented immigrants greatly contribute to our nation’s economy, not just in labor but also with tax dollars,” said Meg Wiehe, ITEP’s State Tax Policy Director. “With immigration policy playing a key role in state and national debates and President Obama’s 2014 executive action facing review by the Supreme Court, accurate information about the tax contributions of undocumented immigrants is needed now more than ever.”

This is no surprise, since the Congressional Budget Office has said since 2010 that full immigration reform at the federal level would decrease the deficit and generate more than $450 billion in additional federal revenue over the next decade.

Who isnaïve” now Mr. Trump? Or it is simply because the new crop of undocumented immigrants is vastly different than your grandfather that they are not good enough to “Make America Great Again?” Last time I checked, it takes money to make any country really great again and that money is not coming from billionaires like you who admit to paying as “little as possible” in taxes. If undocumented immigrants are paying over $11 billion now, think how much more they will pay if legalized? More than enough I think to really Make America Great Again!


The writer is CMO of Hard Beat Communications, which owns the brands News Americas Now, CaribPR Wire and Invest Caribbean Now.


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