Unauthorized immigrants are the forgotten heroes. So treat them as such | Editorial

Editorial Board | July 9, 2020 | Star-Ledger |

Here’s a little-known fact about the 460,000 undocumented immigrants in our state: They pay taxes like most New Jerseyans.

In fact, they pay $600 million in state and local taxes every year, along with $1.1 billion in federal taxes. They pay the payroll tax, which is that portion of each check that finances the unemployment insurance trust fund — a total of $1.3 billion in the past decade, according to NJ Policy Perspective.

But when the coronavirus struck, our undocumented population was not eligible for unemployment benefits. They didn’t see a penny of the stimulus money from Washington — not even if they are military. They are not eligible for food stamps.

So they support our public services just like all taxpaying New Jerseyans, but during the worst economic crisis of our lifetime, they were railroaded into a barren corner of a luck-starved neighborhood.

 

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