Think Mass Immigration Is Going to Save Social Security? Think Again, Says New Report by FAIR
Mass immigration advocates will say anything to promote ever greater levels of immigration to the United States. Having failed for decades to convince the American public that large-scale immigration, without regard to the immigrants’ ability to succeed in the United States is a good thing, they have now conjured up the argument that sustained high levels of immigration – any kind of immigration – is necessary to ensure the solvency of the Social Security system.
A new analysis by FAIR, released in late August, finds that not only won’t mass immigration save Social Security, but that our current immigration policies will make the system even more insolvent. FAIR’s analysis indicates that immigrants are a net drain on the Social Security system who pay less into the system during their working years and, on balance, will collect more in benefits than they contributed. The conclusion of the study makes it clear that we cannot immigrate our way out of the structural problems of the Social Security system.
Among the key findings of the report, Mass Immigration Won’t Save Social Security, are:
- Native-born Americans not only spend at least five years more in the workforce than a typical immigrant, they also pay more in Social Security taxes. During the course of their careers, native-born workers generally contribute roughly $282,000 to the program and receive roughly $271,000 in benefits, or 96 percent of what they paid into the program.
- Immigrants, on the other hand, typically spend at least five years less of their careers working in the U.S. than native-born Americans. Consequently, they pay approximately $250,000 into the Social Security program. However, despite paying $32,000 less in Social Security taxes than the average native-born citizen, a foreign-born worker can expect to receive nearly the same amount of money in benefits – or 108 percent of what they paid into the program.
Contrary to being the panacea for the Social Security system as claimed by advocates and echoed in the media, our current immigration system will only compound the problems. The system cannot be saved on the backs of people who, because they are disproportionally admitted through family chain migration rather than based on their education and job skills, and work fewer years in this country, are likely to collect more in benefits than they paid in taxes.
Moreover, the FAIR report does not even account for the much higher use of welfare programs by immigrant-headed households. Thus, immigrants and their dependents are likely to consume more in public services and benefits, even before they begin collecting Social Security benefits.
The report includes recommendations for reforms to immigration policy that would decrease the short- term costs while maximizing the Social Security contributions of immigrants who settle here:
- Adopt Merit Based Immigration: The study recommends that adopting the RAISE Act, introduced by Senators Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) and David Perdue (R-Georgia), would be an effective step in addressing the net drain on Social Security caused by mass family chain immigration. The RAISE act would give preference points to those potential migrants who are under the age of 35 and hold a college degree in fields that would further the interests of the United States.
- Uphold Public Charge Law: 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.
You can read the full social security report here.