Kiplinger has a post up today discussing the most recent attempt to paint an amnesty as an economic stimulus. This time the focus is on Social Security. Mark Willen argues that somehow this almost broke system would be saved if only we would bring the 11 million illegal immigrants here in the U.S. “out of the shadows” and make them legal. But this is not the right approach and would instead bankrupt the United States, leaving the Social Security system in a far worse condition.
It’s not that immigrants do not contribute to the economy, they certainly do. The problem is that there has been a flood of low-skilled, low-educated migrants, most of whom have come to the country illegally, and many of whom bring with them similarly educated and skilled family members. These migrants use public services, health care facilities, and schools and pay few taxes that support these public sector activities—at a very heavy price tag (Heritage estimates around $30,160 per household). Even if legalization were able to add additional funds to the Social Security system, the country would still go broke providing services to the 11 million illegal immigrants here in the U.S.
There are better ways to fix both the Social Security and illegal immigration problems. In terms of immigration, this approach would include safeguarding the southern border, promoting economic development and good governance in Latin America, enhancing legal worker programs, reforming U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, and enforcing immigration and workplace laws. For a better way to fix Social Security, check out Heritage expert David John’s Backgrounder appropriately titled, How to Fix Social Security.