The Denver Gazette has reported (Jan. 18, 2024) that the Pew Research Center has evaluated the benefit that immigrants bring to Colorado’s economy compared with their public costs.
The Pew, a respected nonprofit think tank, found that undocumented workers pump $2 billion into the Colorado economy annually, while costing the State $200 million per year.
Denver Mayor Mike Johnson said, “We knew it would be a net benefit for the city. These are exactly the kind of hard-working residents you want.” He stated that removing the roughly $2 billion these workers contribute to the state’s economy would be “catastrophic” to Colorado.
A Metropolitan State University professor of economics, Alexandra Padilla, said workers without authorization also provide indirect benefits. For example, low-skilled immigrants who clean houses or provide child and elder care services enable residents — particularly highly-skilled women — to remain in the labor market, which in turn affects tax contributions.
“They do pay a lot of taxes,” Padilla said. “Often people assume if you’re an undocumented immigrant that they don’t contribute to taxes and that’s not correct.”
In 2013, the Social Security Administration analyzed the contributions of undocumented immigrants across the U.S. and found that they paid $13 billion in payroll taxes in 2010.