Friday, January 05, 2007

Social Security Benefits For Illegal Immigrants?

George W. apparently made a secret deal with Mexico in 2004, allowing illegal immigrants from Mexico to get Social Security benefits in the U.S. once their residency or citizenship status became legal. The benefits would cover work done during the time that the individuals were working illegally. Additional report here.

I'm torn in a way on this. But I really lean on the side of saying no to this idea. Why should illegal immigrants (from any country) qualify for U.S. Social Security benefits? Sure, they should qualify for these benefits AFTER they gain their legal status....I have no problem with that. Their benefits clock should begin from that point. But they should not be grandfathered into the system for work done while they were in the country illegally. That's the wrong answer Mr. Bush.....and Democrats better not approve this mess. Here I am struggling for low wages....have no real health benefits, and will probably never see Social Security, but someone here illegally is going to qualify for benefits???? Bush & Co. will have to do better than that one.

Apparently a senior citizens organization had to sue the Bush administration to obtain a copy of the documents regarding the agreement. Now the Social Security administration is saying that everything about this agreement was o.k., everything was on the up & up, etc. Well, if that is the case, then why was the agreement made in secret? Why did Bush try to hide this from the American public?

The U.S. has these agreements with other nations (21), however, I don't think that a fair comparison could be made between Mexico and the other countries for which we have such agreements. Geography and economics make a big difference here. Those other countries do not share such a long border with the U.S. (except for Canada), and there are not thousands of people flooding the U.S. illegally from these other countries. The immigration from overseas countries is a trickle in comparison to Mexico.... In that sense, Mexico has its own set of circumstances that make it unique.

But, there is also an alternative view provided by the New York Times, in an article written in 2005. The report claims that illegal immigrants pay into the system (even though they don't have valid SSN's, etc). I doubt that most of these people are paid via legitimate methods. For instance, many day laborers, and migrant workers are paid cash. Some restaurant workers, janitors, and others are also paid under the table. That's one of the main reasons why employers like to use illegal immigrant labor.... they can pay them less than minimum wage, they can avoid paying into the workers compensation system, they can work them to death, and can avoid paying overtime. So it's hard for me to imagine that suddenly employers are playing by the rules and adding these workers to legit payrolls and paying the Social Security taxes on their workers behalf. That's just really hard to believe.

1 comment:

Lindsie said...

my aunt is getting a social security checkfor life and medicaid and she's from mexico does not live here never worked a single day in her life here. how does my government permits this. and on top of that talks about the usa like it is the worse country!