Undocumented Immigrants Paid Billions in Income Taxes. Trump Paid $750.

undocumented immigrants taxes

Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

By Araceli Cruz

September 28, 2020

AOC noted that she paid more taxes as a bartender than Trump, while other legislator called the President “Dodger-in-Chief.”

The president paid $750 in federal taxes for 2016, and the same sum again in 2017 while undocumented immigrants—people Trump has thwarted through policies and scorned on social media and television—paid billions. 

Undocumented immigrants paid an estimated $31.9 billion in income taxes alone in 2018, according to New American Economy, a bipartisan research and advocacy organization.

RELATED: Trump Has Deliberately Targeted Immigrants During the Pandemic. These 13 Policies Prove It.

In an interview with MSNBC, Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-TX) said the New York Times report revealed “what many of us already knew: Donald Trump is a fraud.” 

“He claims to be a successful, deal-making businessman, who built himself from the ground up,” Rep. Castro said. “His tax records reveal that he’s the complete opposite. He’s basically a deadbeat.”

Rep. Castro added that Trump has a history of “railing against Dreamers and immigrants,” and yet they pay more than $8 billion in taxes every year.

In 2018, all immigrants in the US, including undocumented immigrants, paid a combined $458.7 billion in taxes, according to New American Economy

While President Trump has denounced undocumented immigrants since before he won the 2016 election, their contribution to the US economy is well reported. In 2016, undocumented immigrants paid $11.64 billion in state and local taxes, a report by the Institute on Taxation & Economic Policy (ITEP) shows. 

That same year, a Forbes reporter wrote, “Trump has claimed that the latter group, undocumented immigrants, were getting $4.2 billion in tax credits, a statement that was later found to be misleading. In fact, America’s undocumented immigrants likely pay more in taxes than Donald Trump.”

How Undocumented Immigrants Pay Taxes

There’s a misconception that undocumented immigrants do not pay taxes because of their status, but that is not true. Undocumented immigrants have taxes taken out of their paychecks, yet they do not see any of the benefits such as social security.

Reyna Montoya, a formerly undocumented immigrant who is protected under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, explained the tax process in an interview with The Americano.

“When I was undocumented, as many other folks, we are able to file for an Individual Tax Identification Number, more commonly known as an ITIN, to pay our taxes,” Montoya said. “As a DACA recipient this year I paid way more in taxes than the president. It is disheartening to continue to see the perception of immigrants as takers when in reality undocumented immigrants have collectively paid over $11 billion in taxes and continue to contribute financially and socially to the US.”

RELATED: Undocumented Youth Are Mobilizing Voters to Get Trump Out of Office

More Reactions to the Trump Tax Revelations

Rep. Castro wasn’t the only Latino lawmaker who issued a scathing comment toward the president over his corrupt contribution to the US economy. Rep. Darren Soto (D-FL) called Trump a “tax cheat” and “an embarrassment.” 

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) tweeted information about her own tax returns saying, “In 2016 & ’17, I paid thousands of dollars a year in taxes *as a bartender.* Trump paid $750. He contributed less to funding our communities than waitresses & undocumented immigrants. Donald Trump has never cared for our country more than he cares for himself. A walking scam.”

Rep. Nanette D. Barragán (D-CA) also took to Twitter to note the contradiction in Trump’s speech against undocumented immigrants and the reality of their taxes: “Turns out many undocumented Americans—who the president loves to vilify—pay more in taxes than the tax-dodger in chief, himself. Who’s surprised?”


CATEGORIES: Economy | Immigration


Local News

Related Stories