Undocumented immigrants pump $590 million a year into N.J. economy

Women link arms and sit in a circle in Washington

Women link arms and sit in a circle in Washington

A new study finds that undocumented immigrants are contributing more than half a billion dollars to New Jersey’s economy.

Erika Nava, an analyst with the left-leaning New Jersey Policy Perspective, said undocumented immigrants in the Garden State pay $590 million in state and local taxes each year.

“This data shows that immigrants are paying their fair share of taxes, and giving investment to their communities,” Nava said. “And they’re willing to pay their fair share in their local economy.”

New Jersey could gain $77 million in increased annual revenue if immigration reforms are enacted, she  said.

“In particular, with the national debate that’s going on now where immigration is a hot topic, the big point here is that once they’re given an opportunity to pay taxes, they will do so,” Nava said.

She said she hopes the findings will change public perceptions about immigrants.

“I think it helps people who are in the middle, who are undecided about the issue and whether immigrants are a positive or a negative contribution to American society and economic policy,” she said.

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