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Undocumented immigrants and their economic conditions

While the federal and state governments continue to find solutions to the ongoing problems surrounding undocumented immigration, the boon to New York’s economy is making it anything but a predicament.

While rhetoric surrounds threatened deportation of non-criminal immigrants, a recent report shows another significant impact: tens of billions in tax revenues for New York.

According to the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy and the Fiscal Policy Institute, undocumented immigrants in New York are responsible for $40 billion of the state’s economic output. That number represents three percent of the state’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

The report does acknowledge a potentially significant margin of error in that these estimates. However, both institutes claim confidence that their findings represent their best approximations of the taxes likely paid by families with undocumented immigrants as heads of households.

Currently, undocumented immigrants compose 817,000 out of the entire population of 4.5 million. Specific data of includes:

  • 575,000 are in New York City, 107,000 reside in Long Island and 111,000 live in the Hudson Valley.
  • Eleven percent are in the leisure and hospitality industries
  • Nine percent are in agriculture, construction and other sectors that include nail salons, car washes, dry cleaners and other services

Statewide, undocumented immigrants pay $1.1 billion in taxes, including $545 in state, local sales, excise, property and income taxes. Nationally, those revenues reach $11.75 billion. Breakdowns of what New York-based unauthorized immigrants specifically pay include:

  • $565 million in sales taxes and related excise taxes
  • $183 million in personal income taxes
  • $355 million in property taxes

Immigrants looking to secure legal status and continue contributing to state and national tax revenues should look to the help of an experienced, New York-based immigration attorney.

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