President Donald Trump’s promise to shut down the government if Democrats fail to fund construction of the planned wall along the U.S.-Mexico border is starting to look even better, with a new report from the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS).
The collection of studies details how tax credits received by illegal immigrants and wage write-offs that U.S companies claim in their illegal employment costs American taxpayers almost $30 billion a year.
With the annual costs of building the southern border wall projected at just $6.2 billion a year for 3.5 years, the impact in savings from reduced immigration should quickly neutralize construction costs. The new CIS report includes recommendations to Congress for shutting down loopholes that both illegal immigrants and U.S. companies which hire undocumented workers benefit from through the IRS.
In addition to these tax savings, American workers stand to benefit from the wages that are appropriated by illegal immigrants every year. Harvard economist George Borjas estimates that up to $118 billion in annual wages goes to foreign laborers who lack the credentials required to work every day in America.
The president, who made tax reform a key agenda item during his 2016 campaign, is likely to respond with executive action to the CIS report.
A “Backgrounder” article published on the CIS webpage states:
The economic rewards of unauthorized employment of aliens are not limited to the higher wages of the illegal workers and the lower labor costs of their employers. Unauthorized alien workers and their employers also enjoy multi-billion dollar tax deductions and tax credits that were enacted into law for the benefit of law-abiding workers and businesses.
Closing the loophole
This report says nothing about the variety of indirect ways that immigration negatively affects the economy, however. An earlier studyfrom a conservative advocacy organization estimated that illegal immigrants cost American taxpayers $100 billion a year.
According to the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), most of these costs are associated with the “underground economy,” or strains on the economy that affect secondary financial systems. For example, the inflation of vehicle insurance costs that comes from millions of uninsured, illegal immigrant motorists.
FAIR also cited costs that come from high incarceration rates among immigrant populations and welfare programs designed to assist unemployed immigrant families.
An illegal immigrant breaks the law during their very first act as a visitor to the U.S. by crossing the border without authorization. Soon after, if this same immigrant decides to seek employment as an undocumented worker, they will have broken the law a second time by refusing to pay taxes.
It is just as criminal that American corporations may depend on saving money from immigrant labor before applying for federal tax credits for doing so. The implementation of tax laws to prevent the abuses of this system has been needed for a very long time.