NEW YORK – Undocumented immigrants in New York say they’ll release their personal tax returns if all the presidential candidates release theirs.
Immigrants and faith leaders gathered at the Judson Memorial Church in New York to say they are tired of being used as scapegoats by politicians who claim they take jobs and services, giving nothing in return.
Ravi Ragbir, executive director of the New Sanctuary Movement, said undocumented workers do pay their fair share and they’re willing to prove it.
“They are putting themselves at risk because all the information will be public, but they are willing to take that risk,” he said.
A study released earlier this year by the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy found that, nationwide, undocumented immigrants pay almost $12 billion a year in state and local taxes alone.
The institute report found that undocumented immigrants pay an average tax rate of eight percent, while the top one percent of U.S. taxpayers pay less than five-and-a-half percent. And Ragbir pointed out that undocumented immigrants also pay into Social Security.
“And they cannot claim anything in the future until they get documentation,” he added. “So they have been the saving grace for Social Security for many American citizens.”
The Social Security Administration has estimated that undocumented immigrants pay about $13 billion a year in Social Security taxes, while getting only about $1 billion back.
Author: Andrea Sears – Public News Service – NY