Undocumented immigrants are a controversial issue within American citizens. An estimate of forty-five million immigrants lives in the United States. Most people, including the president, have spoken in public, indicating how undocumented immigrants cause trouble and negative benefits to the country. Other Americans believe that undocumented immigrants provide positive benefits and do not affect the country in a negative way. There are many perspectives and opinions in which Americans believe undocumented immigrants affect the country. Undocumented immigrants provide positive benefits to our country as they help the economy by paying taxes, take jobs that are paid less than minimum wage, and not commit a lot of crime.
First, undocumented immigrants provide economic benefits for the country in the form of taxes. Just like any other American, immigrants also pay their taxes: they aren’t given any special privileges. Although undocumented immigrants contribute to the government with a huge amount of taxes, undocumented immigrants would pay much more taxes if they had some sort of legal status. Immigrants provide the country with a large economy which increases the revenue. With the large economy, taxes help pay federal services that benefit many communities around the country. Although these undocumented immigrants provide a large number of tax money towards the country’s economy, a large quantity of Americans firmly believe that undocumented immigrants do not contribute to the economy. What do Americans mean? Americans mean that immigrants don’t pay as much taxes as they do. They also claim that their tax money is used for the welfare of the undocumented people which they don’t deserve. Part of the reason that a large quantity of Americans firmly believe that tax money is ”wasted” in immigrants is due to the various lies that the president of the United States has falsely proclaimed. One of the lies that the president has said is that taxpayers cost American taxpayers a huge amount of money in taxes. His myth is very persuasive especially towards Americans who despise undocumented immigrants. The truth is, undocumented immigrants, don’t cause Americans to pay more money. In fact, the undocumented immigrants usually pay more in taxes because taxes are charged more to the lower class rather than the upper class. There are many controversies against the claim that the poor are taxed more and that the rich are taxed less. According to David Leonhart in the New York Times, he says, ” President Trump’s 2017 tax cut, which was largely a handout to the rich, plays a role, too. It helped push the tax rate on the 400 wealthiest households below the rates for almost everyone else” (Leonhart, 2019, pg.1). To clarify, the president has helped the wealthy to save money in taxes but has left the undocumented and lower class people without the opportunity of decreasing rates. According to data from Phillip, he claims that “For middle-class and poor families, the picture is different. Federal income taxes have also declined modestly for these families, but they haven’t benefited much if at all from the decline in the corporate tax or estate tax. And they now pay more in payroll taxes (which finance Medicare and Social Security) than in the past” ( Phillip, 2019, pg.2). He concludes that undocumented and poor people indeed do not pay less than the wealthy because of the tax cut the president created.
Also, on the other hand, many other outspoken individuals have countered against the claim that the rich pay more taxes than the poor which includes undocumented immigrants. According to Phillip Magnes of the American Institute of Economic Research (AIER), he said, “According to ITEP’s most recent numbers, the top 1 percent currently pays an effective state and local tax rate of about 7.4 percent. The bottom quintile pays about 11.4 percent. These numbers confirm the moderate regressivity of state and local taxation, but they are also far short of being able to reverse the more pronounced progressivity of federal taxation” (Phillips, 2019, pg. 1). Also, according to CBO’s most recent estimates, “the bottom quintile of earners paid 1.7 percent of their income on federal taxes” (Phillips, 2019, pg. 2). The numbers from both CBO and ITEP have been combined to counter the argument that the New York Times previously made about the wealthy being taxed less. The first claim was that the overall tax distribution is progressive. In other words, tax distribution was proceeding step by step. As the end result, the state and local taxes increased on the undocumented immigrants but the wealthy still had a higher tax share. Therefore, undocumented immigrants are important contributors to the country’s economy. If undocumented immigrants were not in the country, then the country’s economy would be smaller, and governments of all levels would see a decrease in revenue without the taxes paid by the undocumented immigrants.
Second, undocumented immigrants provide another positive factor in the country by applying and taking all the low paying jobs. The reason that most undocumented immigrants come to the United States is that their home country contains a huge amount of poverty. Due to the lack of jobs and not being able to maintain their families with food or shelter, immigrants decide to abandon their families and take the riskful journey from their homelands to the U.S. in order to obtain a better life. In the book, Enrique’s Journey written by Sonia Nazario explains in depth both his and his mother’s journey. Like many other migrants, both Enrique and his mother have their purpose to travel to the north. Many immigrants actually pay their hard work, however, some don’t. Enrique’s mother makes her decision to go up north in order to get a job and send money back to her kids in Honduras in order to pay for their education.