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DACA recipients in 12 states pay over $50 million in taxes, report says

Just in California, DACA recipients pay $2.1 billion in federal taxes and $1 billion in local and state taxes to fund schools and health care for low-income residents.
DACA Protest in Washington
Demonstrators protest President Trump's attempts to end the DACA program, in Washington on March 5, 2018.Samuel Corum / Anadolu Agency/Getty Images file

Nearly 700,000 DACA recipients living across households in all 50 states contribute $5.7 billion in federal taxes as well as $3.1 billion in state and local taxes, according to a report released Tuesday.

Nicole Prchal Svajlenka, a senior immigration policy analyst at the Center for American Progress, an independent nonpartisan policy institute, analyzed state-by-state data of DACA recipients' economic contributions and family connections. The study comes as the Supreme Court prepares to hear arguments this fall on whether to reverse lower court decisions blocking President Donald Trump from ending the Obama-era DACA program, which temporarily shields certain young immigrants from deportation and makes them eligible for work permits.

“The analysis quantifies what was already clear: DACA recipients have deep family and economic ties throughout the United States,” Prchal Svajlenka said in a news release. “Allowing DACA to end would sow chaos and confusion, upending the lives of hundreds of thousands of young, hardworking people and their families.”

Of the more than 16 million people living in mixed immigration status families — where some in the family are U.S. citizens but others are not — about 1.5 million individuals live in households with a DACA recipient, including over a quarter of a million U.S.-born children of DACA recipients.

DACA recipients in these households pay $613.8 million in mortgage payments and $2.3 billion in rental payments each year as well as tens of millions in annual taxes to the federal government, according to the analysis.

DACA recipients in California contribute the most, paying $2.1 billion in federal taxes and $1 billion in local and state taxes, followed by Texas DACA-recipient households, which contribute $750.4 million in federal taxes and about $418 million in state and local taxes.

In 41 states and the Washington, D.C., DACA recipients and their households contribute over $1 million annually in state and local taxes in each state. In 35 states, that tax revenue surpasses $10 million each year per state, and in 12 states, it exceeds $50 million.

DACA recipients living in households in New Jersey pay about $100 million, in Illinois $203 million and in New York $211 million in local and state taxes.

State and local tax dollars mainly fund community programs such as health insurance for low-income residents, and infrastructure investments. These funds are also used to subsidize local schools.

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