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Letting Undocumented Immigrants Work Could Be Worth Billions to the IRS

Giving undocumented immigrants who are already in the U.S. temporary authorization to work could net the government as much as $6 billion in new annual payroll tax revenue, according to a new study.

The report released on Thursday by the liberal Center for American Progress, estimates how various moves under consideration by the White House would impact federal payroll tax revenue. CAP policy analyst Patrick Oakford argues that expanding a 2012 program that grants undocumented immigrants temporary work authorization would expand revenue by increasing the number of people who who have payroll taxes withheld on their wages, and by increasing immigrants’ ability to secure higher-paying jobs. “Ultimately,” writes Oakford, “extending a work permit to undocumented immigrants will create a path for those already working in the United States to come forward and pay taxes.”

CAP calculates that extending work authorization to all undocumented immigrants with at least five years of U.S. residency—a more dramatic move than most expect the White House would make—would bring in $6.08 billion in additional payroll taxes in its first year, and $44.96 billion over five years. Doing so for those with 10 years in the U.S. would bring in $33.44 billion over five years; relief just for those undocumented immigrants with a minor child in the U.S. would bring in $21.24 billion. Oakford projects that the wages of those immigrants benefiting from deferred action would increase about 8.5 percent.

The CAP report comes on the heels of a letter (PDF) to the president released on Wednesday by more than 100 immigration law professors arguing that the White House would be on firm legal ground in expanding a 2012 program that offers people who came to the U.S. as children temporary relief from deportation and authorization to work.

Obama said in June that he would seek “to fix as much of our immigration system as I can on my own” by the end of the summer, but he’s has faced opposition from Republicans and anxiety from congressional Democrats ahead of the midterm elections. The New York Times and the Los Angeles Times reported last week that the White House is now considering holding off any action until after the November vote.

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5 Comments on Letting Undocumented Immigrants Work Could Be Worth Billions to the IRS

  1. All illegals are criminals,and the Feds,as well as others can not say they can not find the Illegals when they tell you who they are,where they are,and are holding protests.Simply enforce the laws,and deport them.

  2. How about the people in other countries that have filled out the paperwork and are waiting their turn for years? (Penalized because they respected our laws)

    Or their family members that are here waiting for them?

  3. The United States can no longer tolerate or afford an invasion of its Southern border by an army of illiterate peasants, many of whom have no allegiance to this country and boldly profess their love and allegiance to Mexico at immigration rallies, where the number of Mexican flags outnumber the American flag. This would NEVER be tolerated in any other nation on the planet……so why are they allowed to get away with it here? Two words…..Democratic Party. Get rid of Obama and vote out every last Far left Liberal Democrat and then things will begin to change. And NO MORE illegal santuary cities, like San Fransicko. If they want to thumb their noses at the rest of us,then fine. Cut off all Federal funding to that insane asylum of a city, as well as other cites that protect criminal illegal immigrants to the detriment of their American citizen populations. Enough is Enough!!

  4. It is workable, if you want to enforce it! Just another example of the break down of the rule of law in this country.

  5. When we can’t deport two of the President’s illegal relatives and wind up giving them both drivers licenses, and subsidized housing and other benefits, ahead of veterans, single moms and other Americans, is it any surprise there’s no testicular fortitude to take care of these future members of the dole? Just another drain on the assets of working Americans.

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