While undocumented immigrants in New Jersey now face greater threats from the federal government than ever before, new data at the state and county level released by the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy make clear that the Garden State’s undocumented immigrants are an important economic benefit to this immigrant-rich state.
New Jersey’s undocumented immigrants pay about $587 million each year in state and local taxes, the sixth highest level of all states. And the more integrated these neighbors become in our society, the higher their tax contributions. For example, the same undocumented New Jerseyans would pay an additional $73 million – the eighth largest jump of all states – should they be covered by comprehensive immigration reform.
At the county level, undocumented folks contribute from $14 million in Atlantic County, which is home to 12,000 undocumented immigrants, to almost $80 million in the county with the largest count of undocumented immigrants, Hudson County. Hudson County and Middlesex County, the two counties with the highest number of undocumented immigrants, would see the greatest increase in taxes paid if undocumented immigrants were granted legal status.
While inflammatory rhetoric and repressive actions toward immigrants and refugees seem to be the “new normal” in the halls of power of Washington, D.C., the facts still matter – and they show that undocumented New Jerseyans are an integral part of our state’s economy.
New Jersey’s immigrants aren’t “takers” as extremists want you to think, they are taxpayers who are willing to contribute to our state and want to make New Jersey better.