Saturday, May 7, 2016

Deporting Immigrants Will Crash the Economy

Even if the deportations manage to avoid immigrants here legally, which would be nearly impossible, the effect on our economy will be catastrophic.  And that's not counting the enormous cost of rounding up and shipping out 11 million men, women and children.

Immigration briefly seized the podium at the Florida Democratic debate, with both Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton trying to calibrate their message toward Latino voters by vowing to pursue a more humane immigration policy and critiquing President Obama’s record of mass deportations. Still, there was precious little discussion of undocumented immigrants as anything but a problem to be dealt with.

The candidates could have looked at new economic data showing that in Florida, undocumented immigrants contributed some $588 million annually in state and local taxes. That revenue, which is paid by people who are powering the local economy like all other Floridians are, through their labor and consumption, is drawn from sales and excises taxes ($454 million) and property taxes ($134 million).

Altogether, according to the fiscal analysis—published by the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP)—undocumented immigrants contribute about $11.6 billion to the economy annually, including nearly $7 billion in sales and excise taxes and $3.6 billion in property taxes. They are, in economic terms, productive citizens, and pay a higher effective tax rate than the top one percent income bracket. That alone is not the primary reason they should be embraced as neighbors and coworkers. But it dissolves the myth that immigrants do nothing but drain public coffers.
Not to mention that undocumented immigrants still pay into the social security and medicare systems with no hope of being able to draw from them, thus funding the retirement and health care of all the white, repug,Trump-voting olds screaming for deportation.

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