Immigration Proposals Would Add Billions In New Costs

Immigration Proposals Would Add Billions In New Costs

TSCL Fighting To Ban Social Security For Illegal Work

Immigration proposals that stalled a year ago are coming back to life.  If allowed to gain "traction," an estimated 10 million illegal immigrants who are working in this country today would gain legal access to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, according to estimates by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO).  Yet, at the same time President Bush is calling on Congress to pass "temporary guest worker" immigration legislation, he is also asking Congress for deep cuts to Medicare and Medicaid.  The cuts include, among other things, higher premium costs for U.S. senior citizens, a move that would cost beneficiaries an additional $10 billion in higher premium costs over the next five years.

Sign our Petition to Congress Protesting Illegal Alien Amnesty 'Guest Worker' Legislation and U.S. Social Security Totalization With Mexico

Last year the Senate passed a bill that would allow immigrants who are in this country illegally to gain permanent legal status.  Although the immigration reform bill has not become law yet, the CBO estimated that bill would pay about $4 billion in new Medicare and Medicaid benefits to newly legalized aliens in the first five years alone.

TSCL opposes "amnesty legislation" for this very reason.  Adding billions in new costs would mean more rounds of program cuts in coming years, and higher costs to U.S. senior citizens.  Although illegal immigrants cannot receive Social Security, a loophole allows those immigrants to claim benefits if they gain work authorization and a work authorized Social Security number as they would under guest worker legislation.

Once they have a work authorized Social Security number, current law allows all earnings to be counted towards Social Security benefits, even earnings while working in this country illegally, using multiple aliases and fraudulent Social Security numbers.  Those who remain U.S. residents, and become entitled to Social Security, would automatically be entitled to Medicare.  Individuals do not have to be entitled to Social Security at all to receive Medicaid.  They need only meet the low - income eligibility rules.

TSCL is calling on Congress to close the loophole, and recently endorsed the "No Social Security for Illegal Immigrants Act of 2007" (H.R. 736), introduced by Representative Dana Rohrabacher (CA), which would close the loophole by excluding earnings of any wages for unauthorized work.  "Persons who have broken our immigration law by working illegally should not be rewarded at the expense of others who worked and paid into the system legally," says TSCL's Chairman, Ralph McCutchen.

Sources:  Cost Estimate of 2.2611, Congressional Budget Office, August 18, 2006.  "Bush's Health Budget Sparks Debate," Christopher Lee and Lori Montgomery, The Washington Post, February 10, 2007.  "Social Security Benefits for Non-citizens," The Congressional Research Service, July 20, 2006.

May 2007