September 4, 2010


How illegal immigrants are helping Social Security (Edward Schumacher-Matos, September 3, 2010, Washington Post)

The contributions by unauthorized immigrants to Social Security -- essentially, to the retirement income of everyday Americans -- are much larger than previously known, raising questions about the efforts in many states and among Republicans in Congress to force these workers out.

In response to a research inquiry for a book I am writing on the economics of immigration, Stephen C. Goss, the chief actuary of the Social Security Administration and someone who enjoys bipartisan support for his straightforwardness, said that by 2007, the Social Security trust fund had received a net benefit of somewhere between $120 billion and $240 billion from unauthorized immigrants.

That represented an astounding 5.4 percent to 10.7 percent of the trust fund's total assets of $2.24 trillion that year. The cumulative contribution is surely higher now. Unauthorized immigrants paid a net contribution of $12 billion in 2007 alone, Goss said.

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Posted by Orrin Judd at September 4, 2010 7:45 AM
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