7 ways immigrants enrich
our economy and society

Fact: Immigrants contribute to job creation.

A report by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine found little to no effect on the wages and employment of native-born workers in the long-term by undocumented immigrants. Immigrants are also entrepreneurs who create jobs. According to a study of the bipartisan immigration bill passed in the Senate in 2014, provisions in the bill could potentially bring between 336,000 and 470,000 undocumented immigrant entrepreneurs into the formal economy. Given that the average immigrant-owned business hires 11 employees, these businesses would account for between 3.7 million and 5.2 million jobs in the formal economy.

Fact: Undocumented immigrants are paying taxes.

Undocumented immigrants pay an average of $11.64 billion in state and local taxes a year. On average, an undocumented individual has about 8% of their income go to taxes. Moreover, all immigrants—regardless of status—will contribute approximately $80,000 more in taxes than government services used over their lifetime.

Fact: Immigrants are helping to sustain the Social Security Trust Fund.

In 2010, undocumented individuals paid $13 billion into retirement accounts and only received $1 billion in return. Indeed, over the years, immigrants have contributed up to $300 billion to the Social Security Trust Fund. Without the contributions of immigrants going into the system, it is estimated that full benefits would not be able to be paid out beyond the year 2037.

Fact: The number of undocumented immigrants in the United States has remained the same in recent years.

In 2014, there were 11 million undocumented individuals in the United States. This number has remained unchanged from 2009, and represents a decline from 12.2 million undocumented individuals who resided in the United States in 2007.

Fact: DACA recipients are contributing to the economy.

DACA recipients—people who came to the United States at a young age and applied for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals—paid a $465 fee with their applications, meaning that the program has not cost taxpayers a single cent. Since the program began in 2012, more than 750,000 individuals have had their applications for DACA approved—and the U.S. economy has benefitted. The cost of ending the DACA program would eliminate at least $433.4 billion from the GDP over the course of a decade.

Fact: Immigration reform would reduce the deficit.

According to the Congressional Budget Office, the bipartisan immigration bill that passed in the Senate in 2014 would have helped reduce the deficit by $197 billion, increased investment by 2%, and increased overall employment by 3.5% by the year 2023.

Fact: Immigrants are less likely to commit crimes than native-born Americans.

Studies have confirmed that immigrants are less likely to commit crimes than native-born Americans and they are associated with lower crime rates. Additionally, in counties that have put in place policies to limit cooperation with immigration enforcement and to uphold the Fourth Amendment, there are lower crime rates than in counties without “sanctuary policies.”

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