PA House to look at companion bill of Mastriano’s illegal immigrant remittances legislation

12 March 2024- Seeking to generate a new revenue source for Pennsylvania, Rep. Mike Cabell (R-Luzerne) plans to soon introduce legislation that would impose a state fee on international remittances made by illegal immigrants. 

“It is estimated that $70 billion is extracted from the U.S. economy annually by undocumented workers who send their earnings back to their home countries,” said Cabell. “My bill would impose a fee to ensure some of that money stays right here in Pennsylvania and doesn’t go toward supporting the economy of a foreign nation.” 

Specifically, Cabell’s proposal would impose a 10% fee on international remittances being sent abroad by an undocumented worker through a money transfer licensee or agent. The revenue would be used to support the popular Property Tax/Rent Rebate program, which benefits seniors and people with disabilities. 

The bill is a companion piece of legislation to the one seeking co-sponsors already drafted by Senators Doug Mastriano and Chris Gebhard earlier this month. Should this be passed by either chamber, the resulting legislation would move to the opposite house for their approval.

Cabell noted that other states have enacted similar legislation with great success. Oklahoma enacted a 1% fee on international remittances in 2014, generating more than $15 million in annual revenue. Pennsylvania’s estimated undocumented population is far larger than Oklahoma’s, so a remittance fee would result in a greater revenue return for the Commonwealth, as well as help to stem this form of economic hemorrhaging.