Report: Mass Migration Drains Social Security Funds

“Mass immigration is not going to save Americans’ Social Security program … [because] migrants take out much more than they pay into the program in taxes,” Spencer Raley, the director of research at the Federation for American Immigration Reform, said September 4.

If the U.S. labor market were not flooded by new immigrants, “Americans would earn more [each year] while working longer careers,” so putting more money into Social security and also reducing their reliance on Social Security funding, Raley said.

Overall, immigrants arrive at age 31, work for fewer years, and earn less money, so they contribute less to the Social Security fund and use more of the funding, he said.

Overall. U.S.-born workers get 95 cents back for every dollar they contribute to Social Security, while immigrants get $1.10 back for every dollar they contribute.

Business groups claim that immigrants will pay into Social Security and save the program, he said. “That comes down to, time and time again, there are a lot of employers out there that don’t want to pay a fair market wage… this [save] Social Security claim is being used as to bring in more immigrants.”

“What immigration does is that it drives up the wealth gap in America — so the top few in the country can make more and more off their investments … [aad] what you end up with a much larger low-income workforce and the middle of the country being left behind” as jobs are moved to the coasts, he said.

Immigration also reduces the willingness of CEOs to buy labor-saving technology that allows Americans to get more work done each day. A report on population growth published July 2020 by the Lancet journal says:

Developments in robotics and artificial intelligence … could substantially change economic growth. Already, economic output in some countries is becoming less tied to labour inputs, with digital technologies widening the gap between productivity and employment. In the future, technological advances might provide a solution to the decline in the workforce.

The report noted that Japan’s emphasis on robots and other labor-saving technology does help economies grow, even with fewer workers; “Despite huge declines in population forecasted this century, Japan remained the fourth-largest economy in 2100,” said the Lancet.

The FAIR report, “Mass Immigration Won’t Save Social Security,” says that Social Security can be strengthened by reforms which exclude poor migrants who earn little, who reduce Americans’ wages, and who rely more on federal aid and welfare.

“While the situation may be dire, it’s still possible to save the Social Security programs that millions of Americans rely on every year,” the report says:

A good start to fixing this problem would be to pass the Reforming American Immigration for a Strong Economy (RAISE) Act, or similar legislation. Introduced by Senators Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) and David Perdue (R-Georgia), the RAISE act would end unfair chain migration and replace it with a system that attracts immigrants who hold job skills that are currently needed in the U.S. economy, as well as the education and language ability required to succeed at a high level.

Officials must also start enforcing Trump’s “Public Charge” almost-established reforms:

… 63 percent of non-citizen households are currently enrolled in at least one welfare program, compared to just 35 percent for U.S. citizen households.[13] And, according to data from the Census Bureau’s Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP), more than 13 million immigrants will be on welfare by 2030.[14]

Low-earning households almost always take in far more in Social Security benefits than they contribute to the program throughout the duration of their careers. Enforcing the “public charge” rule would help ensure that those migrants who enter the United States earn enough to support themselves and their families. These higher incomes would lead to increased contributions to the Social Security program.

“For those who are trying to sell the American public the myth that Social Security can only be saved by mass immigration, it’s time to wake up and smell the coffee,” said Dan Stein, the president of the FAIR. “We clearly can’t immigrate ourselves out of our Social Security deficit.”

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