Republicans often depict immigrants as bottom feeders on the government dole, not pulling their fair share but instead depending on taxpayers to keep up their lifestyles. It’s a story the right has often used against various communities of color, most recently in story after story about so-called welfare “pimps.”
A Fact About Immigrants Republicans Would Like To Hide
But a new study finds that undocumented immigrants are actually doing a lot to keep our great society running here in America. And this includes paying billions in taxes.
The study from the Institute on Taxation & Economic Policy found that immigrants in the U.S. without legal permission kick in their billions in the form of income, property, sales or excise taxes.
There were roughly 11 million immigrants estimated to be in the U.S. illegally as of 2013, according to the report. And each and every state collects at least a few million dollars from tax payments made by such immigrants each year, ranging from Montana’s $2.2 million to California’s $3.2 billion.
We should know by now to completely ignore what Republicans say about immigrants. They’ve become the new convenient scapegoat for everything negative under the sun.
Nativist Lies Enable Fascism
England got into its Brexit crisis in part due to the sustained drumbeat of blame pushed on immigrants, who were in turn blamed on the European Union. This came in the form of far-right politicians like the BNP and UKIP (led by the odious racist Nigel Farage) and right-wing newspapers like the Daily Mail and Daily Express (Rupert Murdoch’s Sun is also anti-immigrant but not as virulent as those papers).
They appealed to older, white voters with stories of immigrants enabling welfare and terrorism, whipping up a frenzy that the establishment right in the form of David Cameron pandered to – promising a vote on the EU if he was re-elected in 2015.
Cameron’s pander led to the Brexit campaign, which has now led to a plummeting British currency and economy and a ripple effect on the world economy.
Promoting lies about immigrants, in addition to being wrong and racist has an actual effect on the world and the bottom line. And none of it is good.
Solving The Immigration Problem, Not Demonizing It
The solution to the immigration problem continues to be a plan to legalize those who are here with a rigorous process, while continuing to shore up border security. You may recognize those twin planks as the plan Democrats proposed in the House and Senate.
Those ideas also have enough support between the two parties to pass, but Republicans have been too busy whipping up nativist sentiment to get it done.
Eventually they will pay at the ballot box for their blatant pandering to nativists.
Featured image via Flickr