Paul L. Caron

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Illegal Immigrants Pay Social Security Tax, Won't Benefit

Seattle Times, Illegal Immigrants Pay Social Security Tax, Won't Benefit:

While many Americans believe illegal immigrants don't pay taxes, billions of dollars deducted from paychecks issued to undocumented workers flow to the Social Security Administration every year. Those workers almost certainly will never see that money again.

Social Security officials keep a record of wages that do not match up with real names and numbers in their system. The record is called the earnings suspense file.

In 2009, the last year for which figures are available, employers reported wages of $72.8 billion for 7.7 million workers who could not be matched to legal Social Security numbers.

(Hat Tip: Francine Lipman.)

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The SSA should be reporting to Homeland Security all the illegals that use false social security numbers and any time more than a single individual uses a real number.

Posted by: magyart | Jan 5, 2012 11:08:11 PM

I assume that means 7.7 million US CITIZENS are out of work because of the illegals. And what about all the Credits these people claim on those wages?

Posted by: glory j | Jan 3, 2012 10:57:47 AM

Francine, it is laughable if you are implying that somehow this is unjust.

Remember the US taxpayer is spending $120K to educate each child that is here illegally. If you are trying to argue that the 15% SS paid by a hotel maid making $30,000 a year ($4500) somehow offsets this you are insane.

And the argument that much of this money is spent locally is wrong too. FactCheck notes that illegal aliens sent home some $45B to their country of origin. That's a lot of money that completely misses the local economies.

The fact is that it is a very bad deal for the US taxpayer to have illegal workers in our midst. If we can't find people to do the jobs that illegal workers are doing, then raise the wages. But either we all follow the rules, or nobody follows the rules.

Posted by: Alan Dean | Jan 3, 2012 9:22:44 AM

Francine, while I appreciate your best efforts at partisanship, you miss the point of Woody's comment.

1) He said plenty of illegals, not all - so he would not dispute your "undisputed" point that on the whole illegals pay millions in taxes.

2) As for those who are paid in cash, technically Woody is wrong because they do pay sales and excise taxes when they shop (consume) and indirectly pay property taxes through their rent checks (or directly if they happen to own). However those are predominantly state and local taxes, so on the federal level (which is what the original article concerns) they really do pay no taxes, or close to nothing.

The question is - are those SALT payments enough to support the resources they consume in the healthcare and educational systems?

Posted by: Todd | Jan 2, 2012 12:05:39 PM

That money can be used to provide SSI benefits for Aunt Zeituni and Uncle Omar.

Posted by: UnemployedCooleyGrad | Jan 1, 2012 8:04:24 PM

It is an undisputed fact that undocumented immigrants pay tens of billions of dollars in taxes each year including local, state and federal excise, sales, property, income and payroll taxes and to say they don't pay taxes of any kind is an admission of ignorance regarding our tax systems that is embarrassing at best. Here's to a more informed 2012 for all.

Posted by: Francine Lipman | Jan 1, 2012 1:25:42 PM

And, PLENTY of illegals get paid in cash and don't pay taxes of any kind.

Posted by: Woody | Dec 31, 2011 8:44:26 PM

SSA also has to spend money to sort out millions of fake and stolen social security numbers. Check the IG reports.

Break the law, pay the price.

Posted by: save_the_rustbelt | Dec 31, 2011 4:05:53 PM

Tough. Let's just call it the price of being an illegal immigrant. It's apparently a deal that they accept. Otherwise, they'd leave.

Posted by: ColoComment | Dec 31, 2011 4:03:54 PM

Earnings suspense file? How about suspending our disbelief that this file is anything other than a list of stolen SS numbers and getting on with arresting and fining the employees and employers for breaking our laws?

Illegal immigrants are certainly benifittng by having a stolen job and a stolen identity.
No sympathy for the situation they created for themselves.

Posted by: Judy | Dec 31, 2011 11:37:24 AM