Monday, August 11, 2014
When advocates for tighter immigration controls rail on the costs of immigration, they often neglect this important -- and well-established fact -- that undocumented immigrants for years have helped keep our Social Security system afloat. Vice News reports that "Unauthorized workers are paying an estimated $13 billion a year in social security taxes and only getting around $1 billion back, according to a senior government statistician. Stephen Goss, the chief actuary of the Social Security Administration (SSA), told VICE News that an estimated 7 million people are currently working in the US illegally. Of those, he estimates that about 3.1 million are using fake or expired social security numbers, yet also paying automatic payroll taxes. Goss believes that these workers pay an annual net contribution of $12 billion to the Social Security Trust Fund. The SSA estimates that unauthorized workers have paid a whopping $100 billion into the fund over the past decade. Yet as these people are in the US illegally, it is unlikely that they will be able to benefit from their contributions later in life. " (emphasis added).
Hat tip to Professor Francine Lipman!