Contrary to unfounded popular belief by White nationalists, neo-Nazis movements and President Trump, non-criminal undocumented immigrants are stakeholders in assuring that our nation remains economically stable as well.
By H. Nelson Goodson
Hispanic News Network U.S.A.
March 11, 2017
Milwaukee, WI – Since 2006, Latino immigrant rights organizations, religious groups, elected (local, county, state and federal) public officials, labor syndicates, activists and allies have engaged in marches, rallies, strikes, consumer boycotts, civil disobedience, school walkouts, getting the vote out and closing Latino businesses as part of a “Day without Latinos”, which recently expanded to include immigrants and refugees to seek immigration reform or have protested against U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raids and the 287(g) ICE Program, which allows local, county and state law enforcement officers to enforce immigration laws that resulted in the separation of families. The issue today, we continue to think like we don’t exist, we should begin to include ourselves as stakeholders in the U.S., like “A Day with Latinos, Immigrants and Refugees”.
It has been more than 10 years of constant action to no avail for immigration reform, but has successfully created a network of activism, uniting people of color and awareness nationally that it’s time to fix and reform the broken immigration system. For the most part, engaging in mass deportations of millions of non-criminal undocumented immigrants is not the economic feasible action for President Donald J. Trump to take simply because it is costing billions today, it would be cheaper and wiser to fix the broken immigration system.
Don’t despair, there’s a light (Luz) guiding us to understand that undocumented immigrants have become stakeholders in the U.S. as well and their economic contributions in the billions of dollars as tax payers and consumers continue to do jobs most U.S. citizens won’t do today and have filled that void for decades. Actual fact: Any undocumented immigrant who has paid taxes in last ten years as a stakeholder in the U.S., has actually paid more taxes than President Trump himself who has not paid any federal taxes in the last ten years. They have been instrumental in making sure our nation’s economic well being remains stable so far, some might argue.
Today, we need to stand strong and stand against those who would like to see our nation fail, we as Latinos and allies in the U.S. need as a united effort to dedicate our resources into local, state and national campaigns to promote the economic contributions by undocumented immigrants, which no doubt as stakeholders have been instrumental in making our nation economically strong.
As community stateholders, we need to organize and participate in helping to make changes by promoting the achievements and contributing factors of undocumented immigrants with a mass wave of publicity in the English speaking mainstream media outlets, social media and other venues.
For example: local immigrant rights groups, including labor syndicates and religious groups, even activists and private businesses can become partners by working to create and invest in 30 to 60 second videos and TV network spots (positive advertising) in English to promote the contributions of undocumented immigrants in order to help educate and sway favorable public opinion to show the benefits in keeping non-criminal undocumented immigrants in the U.S. by legalizing them as a work force.
Detaining and deporting non-criminal undocumented immigrants creates an economic void, which most U.S. workers are unable to replace them at jobs Americans won’t do today.
Each non-criminal undocumented immigrant detained and later removed from a community will create an economic gap of about $25k to $50k in earned income including personal, sales tax, consumption of goods and property tax generated loss annually. Also, it will cost the state and the U.S. government approximately up to $10K or more in deportation costs including holding the undocumented inmate at a local county jail or Private Prison Corporations (PPC), which costs between $130 to $330 per day to hold at a PPC, in addition immigration court costs and flight costs to country of orgin.
Obama during the end of his term attempted to phase out private prisons when contracts expired, but Trump’s U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions recinded that memo and is promoting to continue to contract with PPCs. According to a 2015 report by the Council on Hemispheric Affairs, PPC’s earned $3B for holding ICE detainees. An estimated 34,000 of undocumented immigrants are incarcerated daily costing about $159 each to hold.
So, the U.S. economic stability in some urban and rural communities, which depend on undocumented labor including farm and dairy workers are faced with a loss of workers that can’t easily be replaced once removed by the Trump’s ICE initiative. Does Trump and his administration know that every non-criminal undocumented immigrant removed from the local and the U.S. economic system has a long lasting effect in the areas from which removed?
• In Wisconsin, undocumented immigrants paid $21,7 million in personal income, $6.1 million in property taxes and $66.5 million in sale taxes in 2010 totaling at least $94.4M, according to the Institute for Taxation and Economic Policy study.
• Undocumented workers in Texas pay $11.6B annually in taxes, according to the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy.
• Undocumented immigrants paid $35B within 10 years to the Medicare Trust Fund even when they don’t qualify for benefits. (HNNUSA/Hispanic News Network U.S.A.)
• The Social Security Administration reported that in the Earning Suspense File has $1.3T in taxes in earn wages, which most of it was collected from undocumented immigrants. (The Atlantic)
• In 2014, Stephen Goss, the Chief Actuary of the Social Security Administration told Vice News that in the last decade, an estimated 11M undocumented immigrants reside in the U.S. and about 7M are unauthorized workers and 3.1M of those worked with fake or expired Social Security numbers and paid automatic payroll taxes to the federal government. In 2010, a $13B annual net contribution was made to the Social Security Trust Fund.
In the last ten years, unauthorized workers have paid an estimated $100B into the trust fund and most of the unauthorized workers will never benefit from their tax contributions later in life, according to Goss. (HNNUSA/Hispanic News Network U.S.A.)