A New Perspective on Capital Migration: Social Security, Taxation, and Noncitizen Farmworkers

TAXATION, CITIZENSHIP, & DEMOCRACY IN THE 21ST CENTURY (eds. Reuven Avi-Yonah & Yvette Lind, Edward Elgar) (Forthcoming 2024)

Posted: 14 Nov 2023

See all articles by Shayak Sarkar

Shayak Sarkar

University of California, Davis - School of Law

Date Written: November 11, 2023

Abstract

This Chapter describes capital migration in migrant farmworkers’ lives. First, I note the law’s general recognition of intertwined migrations of people and capital—for example, Congress facilitates capital investment by permitting intracompany employee transfers. Second, and most significantly, I describe this idea of capital migration through our farmlands rather than firms. Capital flows—namely Social Security benefits—are denied to a very narrow class of immigrant workers: foreign workers in American agriculture. I narrate the legislative history of the exclusion, which persists even as both citizen workers in agriculture and most migrant workers outside agriculture face no such exclusion. Third and finally, I consider the exclusion’s consequences. In the absence of employer payroll taxes, migrant workers provide cheaper labor than citizens. This disparity disadvantages both migrant and local workers, militating for the exclusion’s end.

Keywords: Social Security, Farmworkers, Noncitizens, Payroll Taxes

Suggested Citation

Sarkar, Shayak, A New Perspective on Capital Migration: Social Security, Taxation, and Noncitizen Farmworkers (November 11, 2023). TAXATION, CITIZENSHIP, & DEMOCRACY IN THE 21ST CENTURY (eds. Reuven Avi-Yonah & Yvette Lind, Edward Elgar) (Forthcoming 2024), Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4630054

Shayak Sarkar (Contact Author)

University of California, Davis - School of Law ( email )

Martin Luther King, Jr. Hall
Davis, CA CA 95616-5201
United States

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