I commonly encounter people who wrongly claim that illegal immigrants soak up all of our society’s benefits without paying taxes. This is incorrect. They pay sales taxes whenever they buy anything. If they rent or own an apartment or house they pay property taxes (either directly or through the landlord which is built into the rent). Those that work with a fraudulent social security card also pay social security that they will never collect, and in many ways are responsible for keeping the system solvent. And surprisingly over half of unauthorized immigrants pay income taxes.
In total this adds up to billions of dollars in tax revenues. State and local governments in California alone received over $2.7 billion dollars in tax revenues in 2010. For more detailed statistics are available in the immigration policy center’s report.
So while the endless debate about what to do over immigration reform and the unauthorized immigrants already here, we should remember that immigrants contribute not only to our economy, but also to our government.