Five ways undocumented immigrants are powering the American economy
March 16, 2015
Prerna Sampat
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Five ways immigrants are powering the American economy

1. Agriculture

Undocumented workers make up 25% of all farm workers in the US. The majority of these workers are overworked and put in at least 10 hours of work per day in arduous conditions to feed American families.

2. Building, grounds-keeping, and maintenance

Undocumented workers make up 19% of maintenance workers. These laborers tend to work on low wages for 12-hr shifts, often 7 days a week.

3. Construction

17% of US construction workers are undocumented

4. Food preparation & serving

12% of workers in this occupation are undocumented

5. Taxes

Undocumented immigrants pay billions of dollars in taxes annually. Households headed by unauthorized immigrants paid $10.6 billion in state and local taxes in 2010. This includes $1.2 billion in personal income taxes, $1.2 billion in property taxes, and more than $8 billion in sales and excise taxes. Immigrants—even legal immigrants—are barred from most social services, meaning that they pay to support benefits they cannot even receive.

How can undocumented workers further power our economy?

“Granting citizenship to undocumented immigrants would create jobs and increase tax revenues. If undocumented immigrants acquired legal status today and citizenship in five years, the economy would add an average of 159,000 new jobs per year, and formerly unauthorized workers would pay an additional $144 billion in federal, state, and local taxes over a 10-year period.”

Works Cited