Report: Deportation deferral programs could boost Georgia tax revenues

Georgia would see a nearly $40 million increase in local and state tax revenues if President Barack Obama's executive actions on immigration are allowed to go forward, according to a new report released Thursday.

Nationally, the increase would total nearly $845 million, according to the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy report, which is based on a series of estimates.

In November, Obama announced plans to grant three-year work permits to and suspend the threat of deportation for millions of immigrants living in the U.S. without legal status. The protections would apply to immigrants who were illegally brought here as children as well as adults who don’t have legal status but do have children who are U.S. citizens or legal permanent residents.

“The numbers alone make a compelling case for reform,” said Matthew Gardner, executive director of the institute, which describes itself as a nonprofit and nonpartisan research group. “This analysis shows that undocumented immigrants already are paying billions in taxes to state and local governments, and if they are allowed to work in the country legally, their state and local tax contributions would considerably increase.”

Georgia and 25 states are suing to block the Obama administration’s programs, saying they amount to an illegal end-run around Congress. They also argue those programs would create additional costs for services they offer, including issuing driver’s licenses. A hearing before the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans is scheduled for Friday.

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