Use of and Contribution to Public Benefits

MYTH: Immigrants abuse public benefits.  American citizens are paying for their social well-being.



Fact: Undocumented immigrants DO pay taxes.  In 2007, unauthorized immigrants in Indiana paid roughly $255.9 million in taxes.  Additionally, authorized immigrants who were not U.S. citizens paid $901.7 million in taxes, and naturalized immigrants paid $1.2 billion in taxes.

-Source: Immigration Policy Center


Fact: If all unauthorized immigrants left Indiana, the state would lose $2.8 billion in economic activity, $1.3 billion in gross state product, and approximately 16,739 jobs, even after the market had time to readjust.

            -Source: The Perryman Group


Fact: About 6 million unauthorized immigrants file individual income tax returns each year.

Fact: As of 2006, two-thirds of unauthorized immigrants in the United States had filed personal income taxes using identification numbers they had been assigned by the IRS.

            -Source: Internal Revenue Service (IRS)


Fact: The average immigrant pays a net of $80,000 more in taxes (federal withholding, state and local taxes, Medicare and Social Security) than they collect in government services and benefits.

            -Source: The Cato Institute & the President’s Council of Economic Advisors


Fact: Increases in immigration have improved Social Security’s finances.

            -Source: Social Security Administration Trustees’ report



About the Sources…

The Immigration Policy Center: The Immigration Policy Center (IPC) is responsible for the American Immigration Council’s research.  The IPC is a non-partisan organization.

-The Perryman Group: The Perryman Group (TPG) is an economic and financial analysis firm.  The firm was founded by Dr. M. Ray Perryman, a widely accredited economist.  Although TPG’s founder Dr. Perryman has been acknowledged by the U.S. Congress and the Texas Legislature, he does not openly express any political ties that would have biased this information.

-The Internal Revenue Service (IRS): The IRS is a governmental agency responsible for enforcing the Internal Revenue Code and collecting taxes.

-The Cato Institute: The Cato institute is a non-partisan public policy research organization.  It is “dedicated to the principles of individual liberty, limited government, free markets and peace.”  The research done by the institute does not receive any government funding; instead, it receives about 80 percent of its funding from individual contributions, and the remaining 20 percent from foundations, corporations and the sale of its publications.

-The President’s Council of Economic Advisors (CEA):  The council is responsible for advising the President on economic policy.  The council members are nominated by the President and then approved by the Senate.

-The Social Security Administration (SSA): The Social Security Administration is an independent governmental agency responsible for administering Social Security benefits.