Gay-Inclusive Immigration Reform Could Potentially Be a Thing

Yesterday a new bill addressing immigration reform was introduced by Senator Robert Menendez, and it includes provisions for LGBT binational couples that could be groundbreaking if it passes. Co-sponsored by legislators such as Harry Reid and John Kerry, the Senate proposal includes the Uniting American Families Act, which opposes discrimination against gay binational couples and preventing gay Americans from sponsoring their partners for residency and citizenship in the US. The bill has the support of the Immigration Equality Action Fund, the organization that advocates for queer families affected by immigration law and policy. In their own words:

Immigration Equality Action Fund is ready, willing and able to rally the LGBT community, and our families and allies, in support of Senator Menendez’s bill,” said Rachel B. Tiven, the group’s executive director. “Today’s bill is supported by the top Democratic lawmakers in the Senate, including the Chairmen of the Senate Judiciary Committee and the Immigration, Refugees and Border Security Sub-Committee. We stand with them, and our allies in the LGBT and immigrant communities, in supporting reform that honors all families and offers an inclusive vision of America.


Also groundbreaking is the inclusion of the DREAM Act, legislation that would provide the children of undocumented immigrants with a path to citizenship. DREAM stands for Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors, and allows teens who are by law undocumented aliens to become permanent residents of the US if they came to the US as minors, have lived here for at least 5 years, graduate from an American high school, and are “of good moral standing,” The bill was first introduced in 2001, but has heartbreakingly failed to pass multiple times since. This means that for the last ten years, teens who have lived in America often for as long as they can remember and who fully intend on becoming active and contributing members of society have instead been rejected from it.

The DREAM Act is brought into greater focus for the gay community this week as Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and openly gay man Jose Antonio Vargas announced that he is in fact an undocumented immigrant, brought to America by a coyote at age 12.

Vargas has achieved some of the loftiest things that the industry and indeed our country has to offer, holding faked identity documents his entire adult life. He has attended White House dinners after showing the Secret Service false documentation, while knowing that in some parts of the country it’s now legal to have your citizenship examined on a police officer’s whim. He didn’t even know he was undocumented until he was 16.

One day when I was 16, I rode my bike to the nearby D.M.V. office to get my driver’s permit. Some of my friends already had their licenses, so I figured it was time. But when I handed the clerk my green card as proof of U.S. residency, she flipped it around, examining it. “This is fake,” she whispered. “Don’t come back here again.”

Vargas’s story is inspiring, as is the fact that he’s accepted the full possibility of legal consequences as a fair price for sharing it with others and underscoring the importance of the DREAM Act. If Senator Menendez’s bill passes, it could completely transform the landscape for people like Vargas – people who have immigrated here as children and know no other home, and also gay people whose relationships and family ties are still not recognized as having anything to do with citizenship or residency, whose houses are not permitted to truly embody the meaning of home.

Of course, there’s no guarantee that it will pass. But there’s hope. And there’s hope for relief in the meantime: the Immigration Action Equality Fund is calling for a halt of forced deportations and separations of gay binational couples until the fate of the bill is decided.

“As Congress considers legislation to end the unconscionable separation of American citizens from their loved ones, the Administration must also commit to a moratorium on forcibly tearing apart families who would be eligible for relief under this and other bills.”

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Originally from Boston, MA, Rachel now lives in the Midwest. Topics dear to her heart include bisexuality, The X-Files and tacos. Her favorite Ciara video is probably "Ride," but if you're only going to watch one, she recommends "Like A Boy." You can follow her on twitter and instagram.

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35 Comments

  1. “the Senate proposal includes the Uniting American Families Act, which opposes discrimination against gay binational couples and prevents gay Americans from sponsoring their partners for residency and citizenship in the US.”

    I’m confused. Isn’t preventing gays from sponsoring their partners a bad thing?

  2. THE UNDOCUMENTED IMMIGRANTS ARE PAYING MORE TAXES THAN YOU THINK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    IMMIGRANTS AND TAXES:
    Q: “Is it true that illegal immigrants don’t pay taxes and drain our economy?”
    A: As Ben Franklin said, “Nothing is certain but death and taxes.” Like the rest of us, unauthorized immigrants pay taxes on their property and anything they buy. More than half of them have taxes taken out of their paychecks, but because our immigration system is dysfunctional, these taxes are paid under false Social Security numbers. We need a new regimen in which we know who is paying taxes and can ensure that no one is getting a free ride. The only way to do that is to pull unauthorized immigrants out of the shadows and get them on the right side of the law.
    Three state-level studies have found that unauthorized immigrants pay more in taxes than they use in benefits. In Iowa, unauthorized immigrants pay an estimated $40 to $62 million in state taxes, while they and their employers contribute an additional $50 million to $77.8 million in federal, Social Security, and Medicare taxes from which they will never benefit. In Oregon, unauthorized immigrants—who are not eligible for any state benefits—pay between $134 million and $187 million in taxes each year. Finally, in Texas, the State Comptroller found that, without unauthorized residents, the gross state product in 2005 would have been $17.7 billion less.

    THE BOTTOM LINE: Undocumented immigrants are an important component of the U.S. economy. They meet the labor demand in sectors in which they do not directly compete with U.S.-born workers. The great majority of migrant workers are taxpaying, hardworking, and law-abiding people who are integrating into U.S. society.

    The economics of immigration, Stephen C. Goss, the chief actuary of the Social Security Administration and someone who enjoys bipartisan support for his straightforwardness, said that by 2007, the Social Security trust fund had received a net benefit of somewhere between $120 billion and $240 billion from unauthorized immigrants.
    That represented an astounding 5.4 percent to 10.7 percent of the trust fund’s total assets of $2.24 trillion that year. The cumulative contribution is surely higher now. Unauthorized immigrants paid a net contribution of $12 billion in 2007 alone, Goss said.

    Previous estimates circulating publicly and in Congress had placed the annual contributions at roughly half of Goss’s 2007 figure and listed the cumulative benefit on the order of $50 billion.

    The Social Security trust fund faces a solvency crisis that would be even more pressing were it not for these payments.
    Adding to the Social Security irony is that the restrictionists are mostly OLDER AND RETIRED WHITES from longtime American families. The very people, in other words, who benefit most from the Social Security payments by unauthorized immigrants.

    Comprehensive Immigration Reform Would Boost the Economy & Help ALL American Workers: As opposed to the mass deportation, enforcement-only approach, addressing and fixing the immigration system in a wholesale manner will be a boon to the U.S. economy and all U.S. workers. That is why both the AFL-CIO and Change to Win created The Labor Movement’s Joint Framework for Comprehensive Immigration Reform. Dr. Raúl Hinojosa-Ojeda conducted a 2010 report for the Center for American Progress and the Immigration Policy Center that found that “Unlike the current enforcement-only strategy, comprehensive reform would raise the ‘wage floor’ for the entire U.S. economy—to the benefit of both immigrant and native-born workers.” According to the study, granting legal status to undocumented immigrants and creating flexible legal limits on future immigration flows would generate enough consumer-spending to support 750,000-900,000 jobs. The report also found that the mass deportation approach would reduce GDP by 1.46 percent annually, amounting to a loss of $2.6 trillion over 10 years.

    MYTH: Immigrants take jobs from Americans.
    FACT: Immigrants create new jobs, and complement the skills of theU.S. native workforce.

    MYTH: Immigrants drive down the wages of American workers.
    FACT: Immigrants increase overall economic productivity and have no significant effect on overall wages for American workers.

    MYTH: Immigrants will cause massive, unnecessary population growth
    in the United States.
    FACT: As the baby boomer generation begins to retire and the U.S.fertility rate declines, it will be necessary to replace our aging workforce with immigrants to maintain economic growth.

    MYTH: Undocumented immigrants do not pay taxes.
    FACT: Undocumented immigrants pay billions of dollars in taxes each year, often for services they will never receive.

    MYTH: Immigrants come to the United States for welfare benefits.
    FACT: The law forbids immigrants from using welfare services.

    MYTH: The Government should just enforce the law to solve our
    immigration problems.
    FACT: Enforcement alone will not solve our immigration problems. The cost would be prohibitive, it would have a detrimental effect on
    the U.S. economy, and it would simply push certain immigrantsfurther into the underground economy.

    MYTH: Immigrants are not assimilating.
    FACT: Immigrants are assimilating at much the same rate as pastwaves of immigrants.

    MYTH: Immigrants are more likely to commit crimes than
    U.S. natives.
    FACT: Immigrants have a much lower incarceration rate than U.S. natives.

    MYTH: Workers that come to the United States as temporary workers
    will stay in the country once their visas expire.
    FACT: Historically, migrants from Mexico worked in the United States for a few months or years, but then returned home. Border enforcement has made that pattern much more difficult.

      • SWEETHEART, MAY YOU ALWAYS HAVE THE LOVE & LIGHT OD ALMIGHTY SHINE UPON YOU & YOURS.WISHING YOU ALL THE BEST. AMEN :)

        What would you see yourself as if you were looking thru the Eyes of Almighty GOD ?
        BECAUSE,
        How you Treat others is how God TREATS You.

        How you Forgive others is how God FORGIVES You.

        How you See others is how God SEEs You.

        When you show Empathy for the plight of another HUMAN BEING, God takes empathy in YOUR PLIGHT.

        When others slight you and you ignore the call to Vengeance that burns inside, God erases all memory of your failures towards him.

        When you SEE THE IMAGE OF GOD in ANOTHER HUMAN BEING, Then the IMAGE of GOD Becomes REVEALED WITHIN YOU.

        The way You Judge other HUMANS is HOW GOD Judges You.

        All Humans are EQUAL, ALL Humans are created and are the same in Almighty GODS VISION.

        What You wish for the other is what GOD Gives YOU.

        Happiness keeps You Sweet,
        Trials keep You Strong,
        Sorrows keep You Human,
        Life keeps You Humble,
        Success keeps You Glowing ,
        But Only God keeps You Going.

        • OMG, ARE YOU SERIOUS RIGHT NOW?!?! You just spent an unknown length of time preaching myth vs. fact and then you follow it up with this religious God bullshit that is based upon myth/theory alone?

          MYTH: God created humans.
          FACT: Evolution created humans.

    • I don’t know where you got the idea that immigrants aren’t taking jobs from Americans, but I can assure you it’s no myth. I have personally been replaced by illegal immigrants in a labor job. I know plenty of Americans who are willing to work labor, like myself, so the idea that only immigrants will do this work is ridiculous and false (and does no one else see that bringing people here to “do jobs that American’s ‘won’t'” is like neo-slavery?). I was told to “cross-train” them so that we could “perform each other’s jobs.” However, I was never trained how to do their side of the work. I only ended up training them. I wasn’t stupid, I knew what was going on. Even one of the guys in the office told me that my boss’s plan was to have me train his immigrant workers so that they could replace me. Eventually I quit because I knew my time there was about to come to an end and I needed to find another job. My boss let me claim unemployment because he knew that I knew that what he was doing was illegal. I guess it was incentive to keep my mouth shut? I’m not only blaming the illegal immigrants here, I’m also blaming the people who hire them. This also happened to my girlfriend, who is Mexican, but not “Mexican enough” in that she is American as well. Any Mexican-American who reads what I just wrote should understand what I’m talking about.

      I’m not just attacking from a blind perspective. I’ve seen and been through a lot of shit that most people haven’t. I’ve been around a lot of Latino, mostly Meixcan, illegal immigrants for the past five years. I guess there are some things you have to personally experience to truly understand.

  3. I AM NOT SAYING DONT CLOSE THE BORDERS. I AM SAYING STOP THE IGNORANCE & HATE.

    Read this whos to blame for our economy, its NOT the POOR MIGRANTS.

    300 BILLION$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ are not paid in taxes by USA CITIZENS, WHO CHEAT ON THEIR TAXES THAT’s A TRILLION$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ EVERY 3.3YEARS.
    DONT BLAME THE POOR, STOP CHEATING AND OUR NATION IS OK. :):)

    What the hell happened??? Lets BLAME THE FOOD PICKING, , DISH WASHING, LAWN MOWING UNDOCUMENTED MIGRANTS. YEAHHHHHH

    Before you Scream and show Ignorance and Hate at least read the Immigration Law regarding Undocumented Immigrants.

    UNDOCUMENTED IMMIGRANTS ARE NOT CRIMINALS. Its a Civil Matter.

    The whole thing is perplexing to people who don’t understand that being an illegal immigrant in and of itself is not a crime. The most pervasive comments made in news stories about Secure Communities go a little like this: “Illegal immigrants are what they’re called — they’re considered criminals by mere definition. Illegals who broke a bunch of laws to enter and live here should be subjected to immediate arrest and deportation — that’s fair for everyone.”

    That’s not accurate, but a lot of people have that same misunderstanding — even law enforcement professionals.

    During a teleconference last month on the troubles that Secure Communities is bringing to local law enforcement agencies, a few sheriffs on the call commiserated about their misunderstanding of immigration violations.

    “I was always told it was a felony federal violation of law and was always under the impression that turning over any illegal immigrants (to ICE) was mandated by federal law — and so did my employees,” said Sheriff Ed Prieto of Yolo County, Calif. “But after we met with the Mexican consulate in Sacramento we learned it’s not. Then I started looking into how many of our people are being deported before trial and I became very uncomfortable contacting ICE for nonviolent offenders.”

    Kane County, Ill., Sheriff Patrick Perez said that “90 percent of law enforcement officers believe (just being an illegal immigrant) is a crime, but I learned after talking to an immigration judge that it is just a civil offense.”

    Sara Dill, a member of the American Bar Association’s Commission on Immigration and a member of the ABA’s Criminal Justice Council, explained it to me this way: “States are seeking to criminalize what is only a civil violation in federal law.” Dill said that failing to get a permit for home construction is one example of a civil, not criminal, violation. “Putting illegal immigrants in a criminal context confuses merely being present in the United States without authorization with crimes such as falsely claiming citizenship or identity theft, which are crimes under federal law.”

    Everyone knows that of the universe of illegal immigrants, some have committed nonviolent and violent crimes — and everyone believes these should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

    But believers of following “the letter of the law” cannot continue equating all illegal immigrants living in this country with criminals, who have plenty of civil rights of their own. That’s not the American way.

    TO ALL YOU LAZYYYYY FREE LOADERS WHO SIT AND WAIT FOR THE GOVERNMENT HANDOUTS AND LIVE ON OUR TAXES, YES THE SOUTHERN STATES, GET OFF YOUR LAZZZY BACKSIDES, GET TO WORK AND BUILD YOUR OWN LIFE INSTEAD OF BLAMING OTHERS FOR YOUR OWN FAILURES.
    IDEA: GO TO THE MIRROR AND SLAPPPP HARD THE PERSON YOU SEE BECAUSE YOU ARE THE ONLY ONE IN CHARGE OF YOUR LIFE , WHAT WILL IT BE?? IF YOU WANT TO $UCC$EED, GET DR NAPOLEON HILLS BOOK, THINK & GROW RICH AND $$$UCC$EED.

    If you are an American citizen, don’t let anyone tell you that you are downtrodden.

    We still live in the greatest country in the world. The United States is the great experiment in positive thinking; our entire system of government is based upon faith in the inherent goodness of the individual. It was a revolutionary idea more than 200 years ago when the Declaration of Independence was first signed. Borrowing from the greatest thinkers in history, our founding fathers established a form of government of the people that is today the model most imitated around the world. Economic and political conditions ebb and flow, but as long as we have a democratic society that celebrates the individual, we can achieve anything in life we desire. All you require to be successful in the United States is the desire to achieve success and the determination to stick with it until you reach your goals.

  4. Before you Scream and show Ignorance and Hate at least read the Immigration Law regarding Undocumented Immigrants.

    1. Myth: Undocumented immigrants are getting government services for free.

    REALITY: They actually give more than they take. Over the past two decades, most studies that have tried to estimate the fiscal impact of immigration in the United States have concluded that the tax revenue generated by immigrants —both legal and undocumented— exceeds the cost of the services they use. Thus, an Economic Report of the President published in 2005 estimated that all immigrants, regardless of status, paid on average US$80,000 per capita more in taxes than the cost of the government services they were expected to use over their lifetime. Stephen C. Goss, the chief actuary of the Social Security Administration, said that by 2007, the Social Security trust fund had received a net benefit of somewhere between US $120 billion and US $240 billion from undocumented immigrants. That represented 5.4% to 10.7% of the trust fund’s total assets of US$2.24 trillion that year. The Social Security Administration estimates that two-thirds of unauthorized immigrant workers (about 5.6 million people) were paying into the system in 2007. Unauthorized immigrants paid a net contribution of US$12 billion in 2007 alone.

    2. Myth: Undocumented workers do not pay taxes.

    Reality: They do, and in several different ways. According to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the majority of undocumented immigrants pays income tax using, among other mechanisms, Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers (ITIN’s), while most employers withhold federal, state and local taxes from such workers. In fact, between one-half and three-quarters of undocumented immigrants pay federal and state income taxes, Social Security, and Medicare taxes.Undocumented immigrants pay the same real estate taxes—whether they own homes or taxes are passed on to them through rents—and the same sales and other consumption taxes as everyone else. The majority of state and local costs for schooling and other services is funded by these taxes. Additionally, the U.S. Social Security Administration has estimated that three quarters of undocumented immigrants pay payroll taxes, and that they contribute US$6-7 billion in Social Security funds that they will be unable to claim (Porter 2005). This amount, moreover, keeps accumulating, generating US$6 to US$7 billion in Social Security annual tax revenue, and an additional US$1.5 billion in Medicare taxes. This money, according to the 2008 annual report of the Social Security Board of Trustees, will help reduce the SSA’s projected longterm
    deficit by 15%, which is equivalent to a 0.3% rise in the pay roll tax.

    3. Myth: Undocumented workers are a burden on the U.S. economy.

    Reality: Immigrants not only pay taxes, but they also contribute significantly to the economy.

    In a 2007 report, the White House Council of Economic Advisers concluded that, because immigrants increase the size of the total labor force, they complement the U.S. born workforce, and stimulate capital investment by adding workers to the labor pool. Immigration increases the U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by roughly US$37 billion each year.9 Given that employment has been the main driver behind undocumented immigration to the U.S. in recent decades, it should come as no surprise that this group is particularly hard working and has a high employment rate (96%).10 Moreover, beyond undocumented immigrants, the Hispanic community as a whole has increasingly contributed to the U.S. economy. According to the U.S. Department of Commerce and the U.S. Census Bureau, Hispanic owned firms increased by nearly 44 percent between 2002 and 2007, growing from 1.6 million businesses to 2.3 million. Employment at Hispanic-owned firms also grew by 26 percent from 1.5 million to 1.9 million workers, a growth rate significantly higher than that of non-minority-owned firms. Hispanic-owned businesses generated US$345.2 billion in sales in 2007, up 55.5 percent compared with 2002. And finally, of all Hispanic-owned firms with multiple employees, approximately 44,000 have revenues of more than US$1 million, representing an increase of more than 51 percent over 2002.

    4. Myth: Undocumented immigrants are taking jobs away from Americans.
    REALITY: Undocumented Immigrants differ from U.S. citizens in their economic sectors and occupation.

    Among unauthorized immigrants in the labor force, 30% are service workers and 21% are construction workers. An additional 15% are production and installation workers. Two-thirds (66%) of unauthorized immigrant workers are employed in these three broad categories; by contrast, only 31% of U.S.-born workers perform those jobs. Unauthorized immigrants provide an important source of manpower in agriculture, construction, food processing, building cleaning and maintenance, and other similar jobs, at a time when the share of low-skilled, U.S.-born individuals in the labor force has fallen dramatically. Not only do unauthorized immigrants provide an important source of low-skilled labor, but they also respond to market conditions in ways that legal immigration presently cannot. Undocumented inflows broadly track economic performance, rising during periods of expansion, and stalling during downturns. Undocumented immigration is sensitive to labor market demand. Immigrants are more likely to work in seasonal activities, such as agriculture, which suffer the largest job losses during downturns. Therefore, the size of the immigrant population changes in response to economic downturns or expansion. Immigration is not the cause of today’s high unemployment rates. In fact, reliable estimates show that immigration levels —both undocumented and applications for H-1B visas for high-skilled professionals— have fallen along with the economic downturn. In the longer term, however, the U.S. economy is also likely to need immigrant labor as the fertility rate in the United States, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, is projected to fall below the replacement level by 2015-2020. The number of workers age 55 and over will likely increase by 49%, compared to projected increases of only 5% among those 25 to 54 and 9% among the 16 to 24 age group, creating a gap in the population pyramid between the economically active population and those in retirement age that is likely to be filled by immigrants.

    5. MYTH: Undocumented immigrants are a burden to the healthcare system.

    REALITY: Quite the contrary, immigrants contribute more than they take.

    Federal, state and local governments spend approximately US$1.1 billion annually on healthcare costs for undocumented immigrants, aged 18-64, or approximately US$11 in taxes for each U.S. household. This compares to the US $88 billion spent on all health care for non-elderly adults in the U.S. in 2000. Foreign-born individuals tend to use fewer health care services because they are relatively healthier than their U.S.- born counterparts. For example, in Los Angeles County, “total medical spending on undocumented immigrants was US$887 million in 2000, 6% of total costs, although undocumented immigrants comprise 12 percent of the region’s residents.” A 2007 study based on data from the 2003 California Health Interview Survey found that “undocumented Mexicans and other undocumented Latinos reported less use of health care services and poorer experiences with care compared with their U.S.-born counterparts.” In 2007, the Oregon Center for Public Policy estimated that undocumented immigrants pay state income, excise, and property taxes, as well as federal Social Security and Medicare taxes, which “total about US$134 million to US$187 million annually.” In addition, “taxes paid by Oregon employers on behalf of undocumented workers total about US$97 million to US$136 million annually.” As the report goes on to note, undocumented workers are ineligible for the Oregon Health Plan, food stamps, and temporary cash assistance. A study by the Iowa Policy Project concluded that “undocumented immigrants pay an estimated aggregate amount of US$40 million to US$62 million in state taxes each year.” Moreover, “undocumented immigrants working on the books in Iowa and their employers also contribute annually an estimated US$50 million to US$77.8 million in federal Social Security and Medicare taxes from which they will never benefit. Rather than draining state resources, undocumented immigrants are in some cases subsidizing services that only documented residents can access.”

    6. MYTH: Undocumented immigrants are responsible for higher crime rates.

    REALITY: Current and historical studies show instead that immigration is associated with lower crime rates and lower incarceration rates.

    Since the early 1990s, as the immigrant population, especially the undocumented one, increased to historic highs, the rates of violent crimes and property crimes in the United States decreased significantly, in some instances to historic lows – as measured both by crimes reported to the police and by national victimization surveys. Moreover, data from the Census and a wide range of other empirical studies show that for every ethnic group without exception, incarceration rates among young men are lowest for immigrants, even for those who are the least educated. This holds true especially for the Mexicans, Salvadorans, and Guatemalans who make up the bulk of the
    undocumented population. These patterns have been observed consistently over the last three decennial censuses, a period that spans the current era of high immigration. One can also recall similar national level findings reported by three major government commissions during the first three decades of the 20th century. The lowest incarceration rates among Latin American immigrants are seen for the groups who account for the majority of the undocumented: the Salvadorans and Guatemalans (0.52 percent), and the Mexicans (0.70 percent).

    THE BOTTOM LINE: Undocumented immigrants are an important component of the U.S. economy. They meet the labor demand in sectors in which they do not directly compete with U.S.-born workers. The great majority of migrant workers are taxpaying, hardworking, and law-abiding people who are integrating into U.S. society.
    ———

    THE UNDOCUMENTED IMMIGRANTS ARE PAYING MORE TAXES THAN YOU THINK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    IMMIGRANTS AND TAXES:
    Q: “Is it true that illegal immigrants don’t pay taxes and drain our economy?”
    A: As Ben Franklin said, “Nothing is certain but death and taxes.” Like the rest of us, unauthorized immigrants pay taxes on their property and anything they buy. More than half of them have taxes taken out of their paychecks, but because our immigration system is dysfunctional, these taxes are paid under false Social Security numbers. We need a new regimen in which we know who is paying taxes and can ensure that no one is getting a free ride. The only way to do that is to pull unauthorized immigrants out of the shadows and get them on the right side of the law.
    Three state-level studies have found that unauthorized immigrants pay more in taxes than they use in benefits. In Iowa, unauthorized immigrants pay an estimated $40 to $62 million in state taxes, while they and their employers contribute an additional $50 million to $77.8 million in federal, Social Security, and Medicare taxes from which they will never benefit. In Oregon, unauthorized immigrants—who are not eligible for any state benefits—pay between $134 million and $187 million in taxes each year. Finally, in Texas, the State Comptroller found that, without unauthorized residents, the gross state product in 2005 would have been $17.7 billion less.

    THE BOTTOM LINE: Undocumented immigrants are an important component of the U.S. economy. They meet the labor demand in sectors in which they do not directly compete with U.S.-born workers. The great majority of migrant workers are taxpaying, hardworking, and law-abiding people who are integrating into U.S. society.

    The economics of immigration, Stephen C. Goss, the chief actuary of the Social Security Administration and someone who enjoys bipartisan support for his straightforwardness, said that by 2007, the Social Security trust fund had received a net benefit of somewhere between $120 billion and $240 billion from unauthorized immigrants.
    That represented an astounding 5.4 percent to 10.7 percent of the trust fund’s total assets of $2.24 trillion that year. The cumulative contribution is surely higher now. Unauthorized immigrants paid a net contribution of $12 billion in 2007 alone, Goss said.

    Previous estimates circulating publicly and in Congress had placed the annual contributions at roughly half of Goss’s 2007 figure and listed the cumulative benefit on the order of $50 billion.

    The Social Security trust fund faces a solvency crisis that would be even more pressing were it not for these payments.
    Adding to the Social Security irony is that the restrictionists are mostly OLDER AND RETIRED WHITES from longtime American families. The very people, in other words, who benefit most from the Social Security payments by unauthorized immigrants.

  5. A little English-Journalism-Headline lesson:

    “Gay-Inclusive Immigration Reform Could Potentially Be a Thing”

    could = potentially be

    a “thing”?!

    everything is a “thing”

    how about law, or legal?

  6. This should probably be taped to your bathroom mirror where one could read it every day. You may not realize it, but it’s 100% true.

    1. There are at least two people in this world that you would die for.

    2. At least 15 people in this world love you in some way.

    3. The only reason anyone would ever hate you is because they want to be just like you.

    4. A smile from you can bring happiness to anyone, even if they don’t like you.

    5. Every night, SOMEONE thinks about you before they go to sleep.

    6. You mean the world to someone.

    7. You are special and unique.

    8. Someone that you don’t even know exists loves you.

    9. When you make the biggest mistake ever, something good comes from it.

    10. When you think the world has turned its back on you take another look.

    11. Always remember the compliments you received. Forget about the rude remarks.

    And always remember…. when life hands you Lemons, ask for Sugar and call me over!

    Good friends are like stars. You don’t always see them, but you know they are always there.

    ‘Whenever God Closes One Door He Always Opens Another, Even Though Sometimes It’s Hell in the Hallway’

    I would rather have one rose and a kind word from a friend while I’m here than a whole truckload when I’m gone.

    Don’t you know the phrase ‘stop and smell the flowers’?
    See how many ‘bouquets’ you end up with.

    Happiness keeps You Sweet,
    Trials keep You Strong,
    Sorrows keep You Human,
    Life keeps You Humble,
    Success keeps You Glowing ,
    But Only God keeps You Going.

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