Experts and Impacted Community Members Brief on the Immigrant Community’s Contribution to the U.S. Economy

Apr 14, 2022

Press Releases

For Immediate Release April 14, 2022

Media Contact: Ivonne Rodriguez, [email protected]

Experts and Impacted Community Members Brief on the Immigrant Community’s Contribution to the U.S. Economy

New York – Earlier today, Make the Road, an organization with tens of thousands of members across Connecticut, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania, the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights (CHIRLA) and the Immigration Research Institute (IRI) joined impacted community members to discuss the contributions made by immigrants to our country’s economy.

Those gathered on the call went in depth on the current state of play and the significant value immigrant communities add to our country every year. Right now, undocumented workers aren’t eligible for benefits like the earned income tax credit, nor can they get Social Security or Medicare. But the IRS still wants them to file their taxes, and many of them do. Our experts shared data that demonstrates a stark contrast to the often repeated rhetoric that undocumented immigrants are a drain on the US. economy.

“There is so much misunderstanding around immigrants and taxes,” said David Dyssegaard Kallick, Director of Immigration Research Initiative, a nonpartisan, nonprofit think tank that studies immigration in America. “Immigrants pay sales taxes, and – even if they are renters – they contribute to property taxes. About $12 billion a year goes into the Social Security fund from the work of undocumented immigrants who will never collect benefits. And, yes, many undocumented immigrants file income tax returns, even though they are typically excluded from the type of tax credits that let other workers get a refund on April 15.”

“As we approach Tax Day 2022, the contributions of the immigrant community must be highlighted. Despite billions of dollars of taxes paid into local, state and federal coffers, immigrants see no returns of benefits: not now, not during the pandemic despite performing essential work and not in future via Medicare or Social Security. ” added Carl Bergquist, General Counsel at the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights (CHIRLA), California’s largest grassroots immigrant rights organization. “The White House and Congress can end this injustice by putting our community on a path to citizenship using the registry. And this while helping curb inflation and reducing deficits by generating even more tax revenue. That is how we together go about Building a Better America.”

“I felt hopeless and desperate to help my family so I joined the Essential and Excluded fight with my brothers and sisters from Make the Road New Jersey to win the Excluded New Jerseyans Fund for immigrant families that were left out of federal relief. We organized, launched a hunger strike, and shared our stories until we won, si se puedo!,” said Nathaly Lopez a member of Make the Road NJ. “I felt so much relief and like I could finally breathe easy again. I applied for my family to receive relief through the Excluded New Jerseyans Fund back in November and I was approved in December for the funds, but I have yet to receive the money. Rent, groceries, utilities, and tuition payments are stacking up, my family has not had a break or a chance to breathe.”

To watch a recording of the webinar, click here.