For Immediate Release
Republican “Deportation Tax” Revealed in Judiciary Committee Hearing
Republicans Demand that Taxpayers Pay Billions of Dollars for Mass Deportation, Instead of Turning Undocumented Immigrants into Taxpayers
WASHINGTON - The
Immigration Subcommittee of the House Judiciary Committeeheld its first
hearing under Republican leadership yesterday, titled "ICE Worksite
Enforcement - Up to the Job?" It is the first unveiling of Judiciary
Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-TX), Immigration Subcommittee Chairman
Elton Gallegly (R-CA), and Immigration Subcommittee Vice-Chairman Steve
King's (R-IA) immigration agenda this year.
Their answer to the question of what to do with the 11 million
undocumented immigrants in our country today is a thinly-disguised mass
deportation approach. Yesterday's hearing revealed the staggering costs
that taxpayers would bear to carry out this agenda. According to U.S.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), it costs the American
taxpayers $12,500 to deport each undocumented immigrant
they come across. That means that the government spent $5 billion last
year to deport a record 393,000 immigrants. We can continue down this
path and levy a deportation tax on every American in the country today,
or we can pass comprehensive immigration reform that turns undocumented
workers and their employers into legal taxpayers.
Frank Sharry, Executive Director of the America's Voice Education Fund
said, "When it comes to immigration, House Republicans have decided to
put ideology ahead of the economy. Their proposed mass deportation
approach would tax every working American today, and spend billions of
dollars on deportation. Or, we can do the rational, practical thing,
and require immigrant workers to register with the government and pay
taxes on their way to becoming full American citizens. It's simple
math: either we tax ourselves to deport millions of workers, or we get
them in the system paying their fair share of taxes."
Analysis by the Center for American Progress found that the costs
of mass deportation would drain $2.5 trillion from the economy over ten
years. Compared to enacting comprehensive immigration reform, which
would add $1.5 trillion to the GDP over ten years, the fiscally
responsible choice is clear.
Said Sharry, "House Republicans seem hell-bent on taxing Americans to
fund their mass deportation obsession, instead of taxing immigrants and
their employers. The smart, effective, and fiscally sound approach is
clear. When will the budget hawks in the party step up and take the
wheel from the anti-immigrant ideologues like Smith, Gallegly, and
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America's Voice -- Harnessing the power of American voices and American values to win common sense immigration reform. The mission of America’s Voice is to realize the promise of workable and humane comprehensive immigration reform. Our goal is to build the public support and create the political momentum for reforms that will transform a dysfunctional immigration system that does not work into a regulatory system that does.