A nationwide study published in 2013 by the Institute for Tax and Economic Policy calculated that, in 2010, undocumented workers paid approximately $11 billion nationwide in state and local taxes and fees. This would include sales tax, state fees for driver licensing, trash, water , sewer, property and renter taxes, etc. The study also concluded that immigration reform with some measure of amnesty would boost that number by nearly $2 billion. The study showed that undocumented immigrants contributed over $30 million to Rhode Island's tax base, and estimated that - post immigration reform - that number would balloon to over $38 million.
Those advocating for mass deportation should think twice about the effect this would have - not only on our tax base - but on the cost of goods and services, and our unemployment rate, across the country. Most undocumented immigrants work in low-paying, labor intensive and service industry jobs. These are the folks that harvest and prepare our food, clean our toilets, wash our windows, do our laundry, and mow our lawns. The kind of work that most Americans - even those who lack a high school diploma - are loathe to do.
Then, there is the other segment of the immigrant population that I refer to as the falsely documented workers. These are folks who have a fake or expired work visa, green card or social security number. This segment of the population is more than likely paying state and federal income taxes - including disability insurance and FICA - into a system of which they will never take full advantage.
Sadly, amnesty is merely a prescription to alleviate a symptom, rather than one that addresses the disease. As long as there are employers in the U.S. that are willing to hire undocumented workers for lower-than-minimum wage, and pay them with an envelope of cash at the end of the week, we will always have a problem with illegal immigration in this country. If enforcement of immigration law fell on the mighty job creators, maybe they'd be less inclined to utilize "domestic outsourcing."
One must also take into consideration the effect of U.S. foreign policy - especially the war on drugs - when addressing immigration. How many people are driven to the U.S. by a drug policy that enables violent drug cartels the world over, or by violent extremist groups that emerge to fight U.S. political meddling or military presence in their countries? These numbers are difficult to quantify, but there seems to be a widespread acknowledgment that these are major contributors to the immigration crisis in America.