Undocumented immigrants are calling again for more financial aid from the state, saying they deserve more for the billions they contribute in state and local taxes.
Timed for the April 18 deadline to file federal taxes, Latino activists and undocumented immigrants rallied in Paterson to demand $1 billion to help people who were excluded from stimulus checks and unemployment benefits during the pandemic.
Protesters highlighted the $600 million undocumented New Jersey workers contribute in local taxes, plus the $1 billion they have contributed to the unemployment fund in the last decade, according to a survey by Make the Road New Jersey, an Elizabeth-based group that helps immigrant communities.
“Even undocumented immigrants pay taxes, and I know a lot of people have a hard time believing that,” said David Kallick, director of nonprofit think tank Immigration Research Initiative.
Kallick said undocumented immigrants pay $7 billion nationwide in sales taxes alone.
Undocumented residents file taxes using an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number, a tax processing number for people without Social Security numbers. In New Jersey, 130,000 people file using ITINs.
Kallick said about half of the undocumented immigrants across the country — Pew Research Center estimates the total number exceeds 10 million — file taxes this way. Yet, undocumented immigrants are excluded from taxpayer benefits like unemployment benefits, stimulus checks, child tax credits, and more, Kallick said.