“Illegals” are Helping to Save Social Security — for Other Americans



Another good story on The Root (from the NY Times) points out that the U.S. government actually depends on and counts the contributions of Social Security by undocumented immigrants! Actually counts on their contributions to keep Social Security solvent! (The Times story here has personal examples of people paying $2400 a year on modest jobs, with no hope of Social Security or Medicare.) You do not hear about that in the nativistic mainstream media these days:

According to an article in The New York Times, the estimated 7 million illegal immigrants in the United States are adding $7 billion to the Social Security system each year. . . . working and paying into Social Security and Medicare, but since they are not citizens, they cannot benefit from the programs once retired.

And the amount is very substantial:

The money contributed by “illegal immigrants” added up to about 10 percent of last year’s surplus — the difference between what the system currently receives in payroll taxes and what it gives out in pension benefits. What’s even more interesting is that the money paid by illegal workers and their employers is factored into all of the Social Security Administration’s projections.

Hmm. So if we keep them out of the United States, the white nativists will quickly volunteer to pay much more in Social Security taxes to make up for these huge government losses. Right.

Comments

  1. No1KState

    You know, I read that somewhere a year or so ago, and would’ve loved to site that fact more but couldn’t remember where I learned it. So thanks on that front.

    As for the story – I don’t know if there’s ever been a time in the history of human beings that the “poor,” whatever their race or citizenship status, took more from the system than they put in.

    There’s just so much more that could be said. I’m just sorry for the immigrants. If it means anything to anyone, they certainly have my sincerest apologies. As the song goes, “If I ruled the world . . .”

    And again, not to get into a theological debate, but some of those nativists are Christians who rest their anti-abortion and anti-gay marriage positions on Mosaic Law. How they manage to look over the verses instructing humane treatment of immigrants is beyond me. Especially since God told the Israelites to respect immigrants because they used to be immigrants, and with the exception of Amerindians, we’re all immigrants. You’d think that would click in for’em.

  2. Dr. Terence Fitzgerald

    Joe,
    This is a fact that has escpared many in the media. It is also a fact that many will never admit to…the dependence on a group so many deem as unworthy and Un-American.

  3. Maria

    Joe,

    Thanks for highlighting this. When I tell my students this fact they don’t believe–or don’t want to believe–it. AS you say in your preface to Systemic Racism when talking about our racist history, “many whites will deny the evidence even as it is presented to them.”

    All the more reason for us to keep on talking!

    Maria

    • Joe

      Thanks. Good point. Denial of reality is essential to our (probably all) system of racial oppression. One reason is that whites, in the dominant white racial framing, mostly see themselves as “virtuous” and “good people” who could not be racist, who are colorblind, who mean well in regard to immigrants with (often hungry/starving) families, etc. This theme goes back to the 1600s in this country.

  4. RonF

    Especially since God told the Israelites to respect immigrants because they used to be immigrants, and with the exception of Amerindians, we’re all immigrants.

    Israel in Egypt were not immigrants. They were slaves, brought into captivity in Egypt against their will and forced to do labor under terms they had not choice in. When they could, they left. That’s an entirely different scenario than what we have now. What we have are people who have forced entry into the United States and refuse to leave in defiance of American law. Requiring them to leave – while still granting them access to healthcare, etc. – is not showing disrespect for immigrants.

    • No1KState

      Granted.

      The point is that they weren’t in their own homeland, to borrow a term.

      And I’m not sure what you’re referring to here:

      . Requiring them to leave – while still granting them access to healthcare, etc. – is not showing disrespect for immigrants.

      But that’s not the problem we’re discussing.

      • RonF

        The citation I noted said that God says we are supposed to treat immigrants with respect. To me that implies that the writer thinks we are in violation of the word of God in the way we treat immigrants. But the difference in how the different kinds of immigrants we are talking about came to be in a given country means that there is a difference in what can be considered what kind of treatment meted out to them can be considered respectful or disrespectful.

        It makes a big difference in what can be considered whether someone is in an alien land because the rulers of that land forced them to move there vs. someone being in an alien land because they forced their way in, in violation of that land’s laws.

      • RonF

        It’s not right to mistreat or oppress anyone. If someone enters the U.S. legally then it would be oppression and mistreatment to discriminate against them or deny services to them outside the terms of their visa or their status as a resident alien. But if someone enters the U.S. illegally, then it is not mistreatment or oppression to determine that they are here in violation of the law, deny them access to public services (other than those meeting their immediate needs, such as emergency healthcare, shelter, etc.) and to require them to leave the U.S. That’s not oppression. That’s justice.

  5. Maria

    Dear RonF,

    I’m not sure your definitions of justice, respect, or oppression, but when you say, “What we have are people who have forced entry into the United States and refuse to leave in defiance of American law. Requiring them to leave – while still granting them access to healthcare, etc. – is not showing disrespect for immigrants” you are talking about public policy now. Public policy that has created the current circumstance we are living under. For example, since the early 1900s Mexican labor has been welcomed and then unwelcomed, welcomed and then unwelcomed depending on the needs of the US. But this is easy enough to look up yourself (read Massey et al.’s Beyond Smoke and Mirrors.

    From my reading what we have now is a hypocritical position whereby one wants the labor but not the Mexican. Most Americans have no idea what it would mean to have to work in the fields for $15K a year. Because of our historical ignorance as a country we can look at this issue as a simple, legal or illegal equation; however, it is a racialized situation. I am a third-generation American citizen on my maternal side and my husband is a Canadian immigrant. Who do you think gets harassed at the Canadian border coming back into the country–MY COUNTRY–it ain’t my blond haired blue-eyed husband that’s for damn sure. When we create a situation where one is treated based on one’s assumed legal status this is not only oppression, disrespect, and mistreatment—it is a violation of an entire group of people’s liberty. You may recall that liberty is one of our fundamental rights–at least we say it is. If a person is stopped and questioned in a place like AZ because they are Latino and a white person isn’t this is a deprivation of one’s liberties. If people are stopped and questioned because of the way they appear, because of their race then we have set up a policy that deprives citizens and/or legal residents of their rights. This is my definition of oppression.
    There is no question that every country deserves to enforce it’s borders. But this must first begin with good public policy that is realistic with regards to labor supply and demand and that is humane and just. Like I said before, my Canadian husband has never experienced the type of oppression that I have. I wonder why?!

  6. No1KState

    I completely agree with Maria.

    RonF, I think you’re making some convienent distinctions scripture doesn’t make. Let’s think about it – what nation, what city, in those days didn’t guard it’s borders? Not any nation or city that intended to be around for harvest, right?

    What’s more likely? That there weren’t any what we’d call “illegal” aliens, or that God doesn’t make a distinction. Nothing is said about aliens having to have documents to show they’ve been naturalized or anything.

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