Report: Illegal Immigration Important for Kentucky's Economy

Mar 8, 2017

Credit Flickr/Creative Commons/Mickey Champion

As President Trump’s administration ramps up immigration enforcement across the nation, a new report finds that illegal immigrants in Kentucky make significant contributions to the state and local economies. 

The Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy based in Washington, D.C., says undocumented immigrants pay more than $36 million a year in Kentucky income, property, sales, and excise taxes.

Anna Baumann is a research and policy associate at the Kentucky Center for Economic Policy.  She says the contributions of illegal immigrants shouldn't be overlooked.

"They actually get to take out less from those systems that they're paying into because they're ineligible for things like Social Security, food stamps, Medicaid, Medicare, and some of our tax credits," explains Baumann.

On the other hand, some conservative groups, including The Heritage Foundation, say Kentucky spends far more on illegal immigrants than what they contribute to the economy. 

The state has an estimated 45,000 undocumented immigrants and more than half are from Mexico.