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Letter: In 2021 immigrants paid $524.7 billion in taxes. Immigration truly is essential for our economic growth.

(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) Flags are waved to recognize fourteen new citizens at a naturalization ceremony that was part of Utah’s World Refugee Week celebration, in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, June 15, 2021.

It’s time to cut through the noise and tell the truth about immigration: Our economy and community is stronger because of it. Some leaders would have us think it’s a zero-sum game when our country takes in immigrants but that’s not true at all.

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimates the U.S. economy will grow by an extra $7 trillion over the next ten years thanks to immigrants! But we don’t have to wait for the future to see how immigrants are strengthening the economy.

In 2021 immigrants paid $524.7 billion in taxes. That’s money that helps fuel our nation’s K-12 schools, Medicaid and Social Security programs. Immigrants help support our communities as consumers and taxpayers!

Don’t believe it? Even Donald Trump’s appointed Federal Reserve chair, Jerome H. Powell, recognized the massive contributions immigrants make in a recent national interview saying, “a big part of the story of the labor market coming back into better balance is immigration returning to levels that were more typical of the pre-pandemic era.”

So let’s give credit where credit is due, stop the anti-immigrant rhetoric and end the zero-sum mindset. Immigration truly is essential for our economic growth and our communities’ prosperity.

Jonathan Lusty, Taylorsville

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