Foreign-born workers are sending some $150 billion a year home in remittances to friends, family members and associates outside the United States, says a new study published by the Federation for American Immigration Reform, a nonpartisan public interest group.
Such remittances are generally not subjected to international money transfer taxes, or sales and excise taxes.
“Illegal aliens alone remit more than $28 billion annually. This $150 billion represents a direct loss to our economy, siphoning off valuable capital and reducing government revenues,” the nonprofit said in their study, which is based on an analysis of current U.S. Census and World Bank data.
In contrast, Americans residing abroad only sent home $6.5 billion in 2017.
“Many nations rely heavily on remittances,” the study findings said. “In fact, remittances make up 10 percent or more of the total GDP in approximately 35 countries. Mexico is the primary beneficiary of U.S. remittance transfers, receiving just over $30 billion in 2017.”
Dan Stein, president of the group, said the study’s findings “expose one of the least-discussed aspects of U.S. immigration policy.”
“The nation’s generous and lax immigration policies have led billions of dollars to flow out of our economy untaxed, which is a disservice to Americans,” Mr. Stein said. “At a time when our country urgently needs tax revenue to improve physical and societal infrastructure programs, it’s imperative to address this drain on our resources immediately.”