DACA recipients make important tax contributions to Minnesota

Minnesota’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) recipients pay an estimated $15 million in state and local taxes, according to a report from the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP). They are contributing to our communities and our economy, and the report shows they would contribute even more if given the opportunity to apply for citizenship.

DACA is a landmark executive action, introduced by President Barack Obama in 2012 that allowed unauthorized immigrants who came to the United States as children to receive temporary deferred action from deportation and work authorization, provided they meet certain requirements.

About 852,000 young immigrants across the country, including 6,740 in Minnesota, have signed up. DACA is a common-sense way to recognize the contributions that immigrants are already making in our communities and reflect the investment that we have made in young people who have grown up here. The initial evidence shows that DACA recipients are gaining education and job experience that enables them to better contribute to their communities.

With the better jobs, more opportunity to work, and higher tax compliance that accompanies their legal work status, DACA recipients increase their tax contributions. However, if DACA recipients were to lose their work authorization and deferment from deportation, not only would this be a significant blow to Minnesota’s communities, but their tax contributions would drop nearly in half, according to ITEP.

On the other hand, taking a step further from DACA and offering citizenship to everyone eligible for DACA would increase Minnesota’s tax revenues by almost $4 million.

Immigrants are important to our communities for many reasons, including bringing greater cultural diversity and revitalizing struggling cities and towns. Their worth is not limited to their economic contributions, but the fiscal impact of DACA recipients is substantial. DACA represents one example of how inclusive policies that support immigrants in the critical roles they play in our communities pays off for Minnesota.

-Clark Biegler

About Clark Goldenrod

Clark Goldenrod is the Minnesota Budget Project's policy analyst.
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