The news that Meg Whitman owes her much-discussed former housekeeper, Nicki Diaz Santillan, more than $6,000 in back pay stirred a familiar commenters’ debate over whether undocumented workers pay taxes. Reader Selina offers some good resources answering the question:

Yes, it’s true. Look here, scroll down to myth #6: http://www.urban.org/publications/900898.html

and http://www.usatoday.com/money/perfi/taxes/2008-04-10-immigrantstaxes_N.htm

and http://www.taxfoundation.org/blog/show/1424.html

and if you’re up for a lot of reading, you can look at this report: http://cbo.gov/ftpdocs/87xx/doc8711/12-6-Immigration.pdf

There is a lot of evidence that dispels the “undocumented immigrants pay no taxes, get a free ride” myth. It just takes a little research.

Selina’s first source is an Urban Institute fact sheet on myths about immigration. The item she points to explains:

Undocumented immigrants pay the same real estate taxes–whether they own homes or taxes are passed through to rents–and the same sales and other consumption taxes as everyone else. The majority of state and local costs of schooling and other services are funded by these taxes. Additionally, the U.S. Social Security Administration has estimated that three quarters of undocumented immigrants pay payroll taxes, and that they contribute $6-7 billion in Social Security funds that they will be unable to claim.

Thanks for the sources Selina.