U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Falsehoods on Immigration – Part 6

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has put up a website giving what it calls “10 Immigration Facts Everyone Can Agree To.” The so-called facts are both falsehoods and half-truths. Here is their #6:

U.S. Chamber’s Myth: “Undocumented immigrants do not pay taxes.”

U.S. Chamber’s Fact: “Undocumented immigrants pay billions of dollars in taxes every year.”

FAIR’s Fact:

It’s hard to escape taxes even if you live in a no-sales-tax state like Oregon. But that is not the point. Rather the issue is whether taxes paid by illegal aliens approach the cost of the services that they access. Our fiscal cost studies have found that the fiscal costs to state and local communities for the services used by illegal aliens exceed taxes collected by about 21 to 1. Remember that illegal aliens are often sharing living accommodations, have little disposable income, and generally do not have income levels that result in an income tax liability. They are usually filing tax returns only if they are posing as legal workers and are applying to get withheld taxes returned and/or to qualify for tax credits

About Author


Jack, who joined FAIR’s National Board of Advisors in 2017, is a retired U.S. diplomat with consular experience. He has testified before the U.S. Congress, U.S. Civil Rights Commission, and U.S. Commission on Immigration Reform and has authored studies of immigration issues. His national and international print, TV, and talk radio experience is extensive (including in Spanish).

1 Comment

  1. avatar

    Everyone pays taxes. A ten year old kid buying bubble gum is paying sales taxes. As pointed out, the question is whether illegals are paying enough so that their presence here is a net plus. There is no way they are. They are in general very undereducated compared to the American public and they earn less. That makes them eligible for a lot of state and federal programs that are a drain on the system.

    And claiming, as many “advocates” do, that they are not eligible for those programs is simply false. Most state and federal laws forbid even asking about, or considering, status when applying for those programs.