It is sometimes politically expedient for those in government, and/or those who want to get into government, to take a firm stance against immigration, claiming that it poses a threat to the culture, economy and way of life in the United States. However, claims that immigration is detrimental to the economy, both in Illinois and throughout the U.S., are demonstrably false. In truth, immigration actually helps the economy by providing a steady flow of new workers and generating tax revenue at both the state and national levels.
According to NPR Illinois, by the year 2050, the percentage of the U.S. population over the age of 65 will be about 22 percent. As this segment of the population drops out of the workforce due to age, the stability of the economy requires newer, younger workers to replace and support them.
Because families in the United States are opting to have fewer children, the homegrown workforce is unlikely to be sufficient to replace workers who have left due to age. Immigrants usually come to the United States in the prime of life, willing and able to work. Therefore it is not, as some politicians like to claim, a matter of immigrants coming to the United States and stealing jobs from Americans. Rather, immigrants are taking up the slack that our homegrown workforce is unable to handle on its own.
Furthermore, according to Vox, immigrants are generating tax revenue for governments at the local, state and federal level. Undocumented workers alone contribute billions of dollars annually in tax revenue to the federal government, and Illinois also sees millions of dollars in local and state tax revenue from undocumented immigrants.
A report released in 2017, using 2014 estimates, concluded that Illinois receives approximately $758,881,000 in tax revenue from undocumented immigrants. To put it another way, out of the list of the top 10 states benefitting from revenue from undocumented taxpayers in 2014, Illinois ranked number four.