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Immigration Reform News Today: Wages Declined As Immigration Population Increased in US, Says Congressional Report

First Posted: Apr 25, 2015 05:00 AM EDT
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The average U.S. income from the bottom 90 percent of tax filers have reportedly dropped as the immigration rate increased, according to a congressional report.

In a report to the U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary, the Congressional Research Service found the average reported income from the bottom 90 percent of tax filers dropped from 1970's $33,621 to $30,980 in 2013. The report noted the 43-year period saw a 7.9 percent decline in average income. During the same time frame, the estimated immigrant population rate in the U.S. increased from 9.74 million to approximately 41.3 million, an increase of 324.5 percent.

The Congressional Research Service did not offer a conclusion or opinion based on the information provided, but the presentation was compiled after requests and instructions from the Senate Committee on the Judiciary.

The Congressional Research Service's report did answer questions posed by the Senate committee in regards to the data. Some of the questions and answers included:

1. From 1945-1970, what was the net change in the foreign-born population, expressed both as a percentage and numerically?

The foreign-born population in the United States diminished from 10,971,146 in 1945 to 9,740,000 in 1970, a decline of 1,231,146 persons, representing a percentage decline of 11.2 percent over this 25 year period.

2. From 1945-1970, how did overall wages change for the bottom 90 percent of earners?

The reported income of the bottom 90 percent of tax filers in the United States increased from an average of $18,418 in 1945 to $33,621 in 1970 for an aggregate change of $15,202 or a percent increase of 82.5 percent over this 25 year period.

3. From 1945-1970, what was the net change in the share of income held by the bottom 90 percent of the U.S. income distribution?

The share of income held by the bottom 90 percent of the U.S. income distribution increased from 67.4 percent in 1945 to 68.5 percent in 1970, an absolute increase of 1.1 percentage points over this 25 year period.

4. From 1970-present, what was the net change in the foreign-born population, expressed both as a percentage and numerically?

Between 1970 and 2013, the estimated foreign-born population in the United States increased from 9,740,000 to 41,348,066, respectively, an increase of 31,608,066 persons, representing a percentage increase of 324.5 percent over this 43 year period.

5. From 1970-present, how did overall wages change for the bottom 90 percent of earners?

The reported income of the bottom 90 percent of tax filers in the United States decreased from an average of $33,621 in 1970 to $30,980 in 2013 for an aggregate decline of $2,641 or a percent decline of 7.9 percent over this 43 year period.

6. From 1970-present, what was the net change in the share of income held by the bottom 90 percent of the U.S. income distribution?

The share of income held by the bottom 90 percent of the U.S. income distribution declined from 68.5 percent in 1970 to 53.0 percent in 2013, an absolute decline of 15.5 percentage points over this 43 year period.

The report comes as the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP) released a report about tax gains if all 11.4 million undocumented immigrants were provided lawful temporary residency. According to ITEP, state and local tax contributions from immigrants would increase by approximately $2.2 billion per year. Based on 2012 data, ITEP stated undocumented immigrants have already contributed "significantly" to local and state taxes by providing an estimated $11.4 billion.

With President Barack Obama's 2012 and 2014 immigration executive actions, which together would allow nearly 5.2 million eligible undocumented immigrants a temporary stay in the country, $845 million in state and local taxes would accumulate from the deferred action recipients -- alone -- per year.

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