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Undocumented immigrants could teach Trump a few things about paying taxes

They are makers, not takers.

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump. CREDIT: AP Photo/Julie Jacobson
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump. CREDIT: AP Photo/Julie Jacobson

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump claimed a $916 million loss on his income tax returns, the New York Times reported after receiving three pages from his filings in 1995. His tax deduction could have allowed him to avoid paying federal income taxes for about 18 years.

While Trump often likes to associate the undocumented immigrant population with criminality and economic burden, they are also a group of people who have contributed billions in taxes.

CREDIT: AP/IStock/Dylan Petrohilos
CREDIT: AP/IStock/Dylan Petrohilos

Democratic presidential rival Hillary Clinton took to Twitter on Sunday to criticize Trump’s tax returns, pointing out that the people he scapegoats have contributed more in taxes than he has.

According to the fact-checking publication Politifact, the American workforce includes 3.1 million undocumented immigrants who paid and contributed about $13 billion in Social Security taxes in 2010. After taking out about $1 billion in benefits that some may have received, it still appears that the undocumented population contributed $12 billion. Similarly, a 2016 Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy report found that undocumented workers are a net positive to the economy, contributing roughly $11.64 billion every year, or an average eight percent of their incomes in state and local taxes.

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That counters what Trump has claimed in the past. The GOP presidential candidate has cited erroneous figures that undocumented immigrants cost $113 billion in local, state, and federal taxes — a figure lifted from the Federation for American Immigration Reform website, an anti-immigrant organization founded by white nationalist John Tanton.