Jesus Nebot, filmmaker, entrepreneur, and speaker, wrote in an Aug. 14, 2011 email to

“Economic studies seem to indicate that the contribution of undocumented immigrants to the US economy is greater than their burden.

Undocumented immigrants pay sales tax on their purchases and property tax on their homes. Additionally an estimated three-quarters of undocumented immigrants pay income tax using Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers or false Social Security numbers. These documents put workers ‘on the books,’ which means their employers must make required deductions from their pay. Each year, taxpayers who use incorrect or false Social Security numbers (the majority of them undocumented immigrants) contribute approximately $7 billion to Social Security and $1.5 billion to Medicare. Most of these workers were educated in their countries of origin and now the U.S. economy reaps the rewards of their work. Yet, undocumented workers are ineligible for most government benefits.

On average, all immigrants will pay $80,000 more in taxes per capita than they use in government benefits over their lifetime. These facts led the President’s Council of Economic Advisers to declare in June 2007 that ‘the long-run impact of immigration on public budgets is likely to be positive.’

Undocumented immigration also produces a net benefit at the state level. For example, approximately 13.9% of the nation’s undocumented immigrants live in Texas. In 2006, the Texas Comptroller reported that undocumented immigrants paid about $424.7 million more in state revenues – including sales tax and school property tax – than they used in state services, including education and health care.”

Aug. 14, 2011