Thursday, May 18, 2006

Social Security for Illegal Work

I’m at a loss over this one.

The Senate also killed an amendment offered by Sen. John Ensign, a Nevada Republican, that would have prevented immigrants who legalize their status from getting Social Security credit for work while they were illegal.

Senate blocks effort to limit benefits to immigrants

Opponents argued that the program collects millions of dollars every year from illegal workers and it would be unfair to deny them credit for those payments.

"Their money sits in the Social Security Administration waiting to be matched with an eligible beneficiary, and once those workers establish the eligibility, how in all fairness can we deny them the credit for their past contributions?" asked Sen. Edward Kennedy a Massachusetts Democrat.

Someone help me out here please. I am admitting ignorance. How is it that illegal aliens have contributed to social security? Unless an illegal stole a social security number, I just don’t see how that is possible. If anything, they have taken the job away from an American that would have, in fact, contributed to social security.

This falls into the same category as the ‘pay back taxes’ idea. Even if illegal immigrants were legal, they wouldn’t be paying federal income taxes. In fact, if they were legal, the incentive to hire them would be completely erased as employers would lose the benefits of having serf labor that they don’t pay social security on. Then they would be 100% on the public dole.

But back to Social Security. If an illegal alien were to gain amnesty the day after he retired, having never once paid payroll taxes or social security taxes, he would still get social security benefits. Even Green Card holders who have been in the US for five years can collect social security. In addition, if we were to give illegal immigrants credit for time served while illegal, could we then go back to all of those employers that hired them and collect their end of the bargain as well? I think that might change the tune of some of these corporations. It certainly would scare the ‘we need them as nannies’ crowd.

Here is the vote to table the amendment on Social Security benefits for illegal immigrants

Note the Republicans that support giving illegal immigrants’ credit for illegal activity through the social security system.

Chafee (RI)
Graham (SC)
Hagel (NE)
Lugar (IN)
Martinez (FL)
McCain (AZ)
Specter (PA)
Stevens (AK)
Voinovich (OH)

Also note that the there was a one vote margin. One vote. One stinking vote. Thanks Graham.

Reuters included this unrelated, yet hilarious, nugget of information.

Mexico said it would complain to Washington about plans to build security fences and deploy the Guard. "There are 12 million Mexicans on the other side, 12 million people who live every day in anguish about the need for a reform to let them live peacefully," Mexican Foreign Minister Luis Ernesto Derbez said.

As much anguish as they are in now, they were apparently in more anguish when they were legal in your country. Let them live peacefully in Mexico. In the words of Judge Judy…Zip it!