Author: Mira News
A recently released report titled “A Fiscal Portrait of the Newest Americans,” published by the National Immigration Forum and the Cato Institute, shows that immigrants are a boon for the American economy, not a hinderance. Written by Stephen Moore, an economist at the Cato Institute, the study explores the fiscal impact of the immigrants on the United States.
The study addresses two central questions: How much total taxes do immigrants pay each year, and do the taxes immigrants pay cover the use of the public services they use? The overwhelming answer is yes.
Immigrants more than cover the cost of the public services they use; they bring long-term economic benefits to the US as a whole. Here are just a few of the facts found in the report:
- The National Research Council of the national Academy of Sciences (NRC) estimates that “the typical immigrant and his or her children pay an estimated $80,0000 more in taxes than they receive in local, state, and federal benefits over their lifetimes.”
- The study also found that “families with an adult, foreign-born, naturalized citizen actually have higher adjusted gross incomes – averaging $40,502 – than families with U.S.-born citizens.”
- And “the federal taxes paid by families with a naturalized citizen average $6,580 per year, compared with $5,070 for U.S.-born-only families.”
- “In 1997, immigrant households paid an estimated $133 billion in direct taxes to federal, state, and local governments.”
- “Working-age immigrants who have been in the United States for more than 10 years are less likely to receive welfare than natives, according to a 1998 Urban Institute study.”
The results of the report suggest that not only do immigrants boost the American economy, they cost American taxpayers less than their native counterparts.
In an interview with CBS, the study’s author, Stephen Moore, said, “I think that many (people) think immigrants take jobs away from American citizens and that many immigrants are on welfare. We are finding just the opposite.”
In response to many inquiries from people seeking to understand the difference between “immigrant” and “refugee”, Frosina is pleased to provide the following explanations:
What is an immigrant?
An immigrant is a foreign-born individual who has been admitted to reside permanently in the United States as a lawful permanent resident (LPR).
How Do Immigrants Get Admitted to Permanently Reside Here?
Typically a foreign-born individual seeking to become an LPR can attain legal status in one of two ways:
- Through family-sponsored immigration, a U.S. citizen can sponsor her spouse, foreign-born parent (if the sponsor is over the age of 21), minor and adult children, and brothers and sisters. A lawful permanent resident can sponsor her spouse, minor children, and adult unmarried children.
- Through employment-based immigration, a U.S. employer can sponsor someone for a specific position where there is a demonstrated absence of U.S. workers. A small number of diversity visas are also awarded through a special lottery to individuals from specifically designated countries.
What is a refugee?
- A person outside of the United States who seeks protection on the grounds that he or she fears persecution in his or her homeland is a refugee. To attain regfugee status, the person must prove that he or she has a “well-founded fear of persecutuion” on the basis of at least one of five specifically enumerated, and internationally reconized, grounds. Those grounds include the person’s race, religion, membership in a social group, political opinion, or … national origin.
- A person who has already entered the United States, and who fears persecution if sent back to his country, may apply for asylum here. Once granted asylum, an asylum applicant must also prove that he has a “well-founded fear of persecutuion” based on the same enumerated grounds. Both refugees and asylees may apply to become LPR’s after one year.
What is an Undocumented Immigrant?
An undocumented immigrant is a person who is present in the United States without the permission of the U.S. government. Undocumented immmigrants enter the U.S. either:
- Illegally, without being inspected by an immigration officer, or by using false documents; or
- Legally, with a temporary visa, and then remain in the U.S. beyond the expiration date of the visa.
Four out of ten undocumented immigrants enter the U.S. legally.
What are Non-Immigrants?
Non-immigrants are individuals who are permitted to enter the U.S. for a period of limited duration, and are given only temporary visas. Some non-immigrant (temporary) visas are given to: students, tourists, temporary workers, business executives, and diplomats.
What is a Naturalized Citizen?
Lawful permanent residents are eligible to apply for U.S. citizenship through a process called naturalization. To qualify to naturalize, applicants must reside in the U.S. for 5 years (3, if married to a U.S. citizen), demonstrate a knowledge of U.S. history and government, show they have paid taxes, have committed no serious crimes, be of “good moral character,” and demonstrate that they understand, speak, and write English.