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Immigration is an important issue in the American presidential race. Some candidates argue that immigrants cost U.S. taxpayers a lot of money. The Federation for American Immigration Reform says people illegally in the U.S. cost the economy about $113 billion every year. That group, which supports stronger limits on immigration, says state and local governments pay most of the cost. But how much do undocumented immigrants pay in taxes? The Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy is a politically neutral research group. It says people in the US illegally pay more than $11.5 billion a year in state and local taxes. Matt Gardner is executive director of the Institute. He says it is difficult to know the exact costs of illegal immigration. But he says $11.5 billion a year is a lot of money for state and local governments. The institute estimates that undocumented immigrants would pay about $2.1 billion dollars more if they were permitted to work legally. The Pew Research Center says there are more than 11 million illegal immigrants in the United States. They make up about 3.5 percent of the nation’s population. Most of them live in six states: California, Texas, Florida, New York, New Jersey and Illinois. The Congressional Budget Office released a report on the effect of illegal immigrants on state and local budgets. It says state and local governments get more in tax money from illegal immigrants than those governments have to spend on services for them.