Monday, September 17, 2007
Another Mith regarding Immigrants live off our “generous” welfare system. Most of the Xenophobics, Gun-toting, Vigilantes, Racist has been using this myth as a powerful tool to enhance and fuel the Anti Immigrant sentiment against Immigrants.
Immigrant workers come to the U.S. to work. According to a recent study by the Pew Hispanic Center, 92 percent of undocumented males are gainfully employed, higher than any other sector of the population. Immigrant workers are also taking on more diverse jobs within the economy, as a quarter of them have at least some college education and another quarter has finished high school.
Immigrant workers also pay taxes. According to a 1997 study by Cato Institute economist Steve Moore, immigrant households paid an estimated $133 billion in direct taxes to federal, state, and local governments. Another study by the National Academy of Sciences, found that immigrants benefit the U.S. economy overall, have little negative effect on the income and job opportunities of most native-born Americans, and may add as much as $10 billion to the economy each year. Overall, according to the study, further analysis would likely show “that 49 of the 50 states come out ahead fiscally from immigration, with California a close call.
Since undocumented workers pay into a system but are deprived of its benefits, they are denied the fruits of their labor. Most workers, documented or not, pay into Social Security and Medicare through deductions from each paycheck. Since the 1980s, the Social Security Administration has seen a steady increase of W-2 earnings reports with phony social security numbers—in other words, those of undocumented workers. These funds are stashed into what is called the “Earnings Suspense File.” Since there are no accurate records of who paid the taxes, the fund has mushroomed to a whopping $189 billion from wage receipts, generating $6–$7 billion in Social Security tax revenue and about $1.5 billion in Medicare taxes, that cannot be claimed by undocumented immigrants.13 In short, immigrants are not only deprived of the benefits and services they deserve, they are contributing to a massive government fund that will be appropriated by others.
Anti-immigrant groups, politicians, eager to get their hands on other people’s money, are scurrying to block any attempt to match these funds to their rightful owners. A recent bill passed in Congress by Rep. J.D. Hayworth (R-AZ), prohibits distribution of Social Security funds to the undocumented. Gushing after his victory he declared, “I am proud that a unified House stood with me to declare our determination that illegal aliens will not plunder Social Security funds that are intended solely for retired and disabled Americans.”