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The Impact of Immigration on Social Security

Our AMAC Foundation Social Security Advisors often field comments from callers regarding illegal immigration and it’s contribution to Social Security’s financial dilemma. These comments often take the form of hearsay, where our callers rail against “undocumented” immigrants receiving Social Security benefits without having earned them. We try to explain that this is a myth–one of several persistent untruths we deal with repeatedly–but we typically run up against the rebuttal, “I saw it in on the internet!”

Resorting to facts, it’s useful to understand that lawful immigration is a substantial part of Social Security’s revenue, as explained by the Motley Fool’s Sean Williams in a post on their website. In his article, titled “Social Security and Immigration: Setting the Record Straight,” Williams puts the issue in perspective with this comment, “According to data and projections in the 2019 trustees’ report, legal immigration isn’t just a positive for the Social Security program — it’s vital to its existence.

But the allegations often focus on undocumented immigrants, or other-than-legal-permanent-residents, as the 2019 Social Security Trustees Report refers to this worker category. Again, resorting to fact, Williams points out that ” … Social Security collects an estimated $13 billion a year in payroll tax revenue from undocumented workers …”, despite not being able to earn the requisite credits under a valid Social Security number. It’s an interesting paradox, and Williams presents several viewpoints on it in his article. You can access his post here…



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