Posts Tagged ‘executive action’

Trump’s Immigration Remarks at Joint Address, Debunked

Martes, marzo 7th, 2017
 Trump’s Immigration Remarks at Joint Address, Debunked

Written by Joshua Breisblatt in Border Enforcement, Enforcement, Executive Action, Interior Enforcement

This week, President Trump gave an address to a joint session of Congress where he continued his divisive, inaccurate rhetoric on immigration. Some analysts have said Trump moderated his tone in this speech, but in reality Trump isn’t shifting from his hard-line immigration policies. In his speech, he continued to falsely blaming immigrants for the underlying cause for many issues our country faces.

Below are five statements from President Trump’s Joint Address that need to be corrected and explained.

1. Trump claimed that we’ve left “our own borders wide open for anyone to cross.”

This is categorically false Since the last major overhaul of the U.S. immigration system in 1986, the federal government has spent an estimated $263 billion on immigration and border enforcement. Currently, the number of border and interior enforcement personnel stands at more than 49,000. The number of U.S. Border Patrol agents nearly doubled from Fiscal Year (FY) 2003 to FY 2016 with Border Patrol now required to have a record 21,370 agents. Additionally, the number of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents devoted to its office of Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) nearly tripled from FY 2003 to FY 2016.

2. Trump said that immigrants aren’t contributing to our economy and instead are “costing the country billions.”

Once again, Trump is incorrect. The study Trump cited and misconstrued was conducted by the National Academies of Sciences (NAS), Engineering, and Medicine. The same report flatly states found that immigrants have “little to no negative effects on the overall wages or employment of native-born workers in the long term.” The NAS study also finds that immigrant workers expand the size of the U.S. economy by an estimated 11 percent annually, which translates out to $2 trillion in 2016. Further, the children of immigrants were found to be the largest net fiscal contributors among any group, native or foreign-born, creating significant economic benefits for every American.

3. Trump said that the government is “removing gang members, drug dealers and criminals that threaten our communities and prey on our citizens.”

Despite the rhetoric, Trump has complicated immigration enforcement by making virtually all of the undocumented population a priority . The new administration is ignoring priorities that were put into place by the Obama Administration as a way to manage limited law enforcement resources and prioritize those who pose a threat to public safety and national security. The priorities recognized that there is a finite budget available for immigration enforcement, thus making prioritization important. The approach now being pursued by the Trump Administration casts a very wide net and will result in an aggressive and unforgiving approach to immigration enforcement moving forward.

4. Trump believes a merit-based immigration system will improve the economy.

The idea of a merit-based system is not new but it usually has been discussed as one piece to updating our immigration system, not the only piece as discussed in this speech. At its core, the allocation of points is not a neutral act, but instead reflects a political view regarding the “desired immigrant.” Since the enactment of the Immigration and Nationality Act in 1965, legal immigration to the United States has been based primarily on the family ties or the work skills of prospective immigrants.

The contributions of family-based immigrants to the U.S. economy, local communities, and the national fabric are many. They account for a significant portion of domestic economic growth, contribute to the well-being of the current and future labor force, play a key role in business development and community improvement, and are among the most upwardly mobile segments of the labor force. And if cutting family-based immigration becomes part of a trade-off for a merit-based system, we would be turning our back on a centuries’ old tradition of family members already in the United States supporting newcomer relatives by helping them get on their feet and facilitating their integration.

5. Trump attempted to make the link between immigrants and crime through his newly created office of Victims Of Immigration Crime Engagement (VOICE).

Despite the implications of this new office at DHS which seeks to demonize all immigrants, immigrants are actually less likely to commit serious crimes or be behind bars than the native-born. Additionally, high rates of immigration are associated with lower rates of violent crime and property crime. This holds true for both legal immigrants and the unauthorized, regardless of their country of origin or level of education.

Photo Courtesy of C-SPAN

Publication Date: March 08 2017
Source: http://immigrationimpact.com

 

Undocumented Immigrants Pay Billions in State and Local Taxes

Lunes, febrero 29th, 2016

Travelers: Be Aware of the Zika Virus

Undocumented immigrants contribute to the U.S. economy in many ways. They fill essential jobs, they sustain U.S. businesses through their purchase of goods and services, and—contrary to popular misconceptions—they pay taxes to federal, state, and local governments. Their contributions would be even greater if they had a chance to earn legal status and didn’t have the danger of deportation constantly hanging over their heads. With legal status, they’d be able to change jobs more easily and—as they found better jobs and their wages increased—their economic clout as consumers and taxpayers would rise as well. This is a winning scenario for both the immigrants themselves and the native-born population.

In a recent report titled Undocumented Immigrants’ State & Local Tax Contributions, the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP) explores in depth not only the present tax contributions of undocumented immigrants, but how much those contributions would increase under two different scenarios. One is the temporary reprieve from deportation and the renewable three-year work authorization that the Obama administration would grant to some undocumented immigrants via executive action. The other is the granting of legal permanent resident (LPR) status to all undocumented immigrants—in other words, legalization. Not surprisingly, immigrants with legal status pay more in taxes than those who are undocumented.

Undocumented immigrants, like everyone else in the United States, pay sales taxes. And they also pay property taxes—even if they rent. Plus, as ITEP points out, “the best evidence suggests that at least 50 percent of undocumented immigrant households currently file income tax returns using Individual Tax Identification Numbers (ITINs), and many who do not file income tax returns still have taxes deducted from their paychecks.” In sum, according to ITEP, “undocumented immigrants living in the United States pay billions of dollars each year in state and local taxes. Further, these tax contributions would increase significantly if all undocumented immigrants currently living in the United States were granted a pathway to citizenship as part of a comprehensive immigration reform.”

ITEP estimates the current and possible future tax contributions of undocumented immigrants at the state and local level:

  • Current contributions: Undocumented immigrants paid $11.6 billion in state and local taxes 2013. This ranged from roughly $2.2 million in Montana (home to only 4,000 undocumented immigrants) to $3.1 billion in California (with an undocumented population numbering more than 3 million). The average effective state and local tax rate of undocumented immigrants in 2013 was 8 percent (compared to 5.4 percent for the top 1 percent of all taxpayers).
  • Executive Action: The Obama administration’s executive actions would grant a reprieve to more than 5 million undocumented immigrants. The state and local tax contributions of this group of immigrants would increase by $805 million per year once the actions were fully in place. This would raise the effective state and local tax rate of this group from 8.1 percent to 8.6 percent.
  • Legalization: Granting LPR status to all undocumented immigrants would increase their state and local tax contributions by $2.1 billion per year. Their average effective state and local tax rate would rise to 8.6 percent.

These estimates should be kept in mind as political commentators and presidential candidates debate how best to deal with the 11 million undocumented immigrants who now live in the United States. In spite of their undocumented status, these immigrants—and their family members—are adding value to the U.S. economy; not only as taxpayers, but as workers, consumers, and entrepreneurs as well. If they had legal status, they would contribute even more. On the other hand, the only alternative— mass deportation—would be very costly and needlessly destructive. Common sense should dictate which route to take.

 

Publication Date: February 29 de 2016
Source: ImmigrationImpact.com