April 17, 2009

MYTH: Undocumented Immigrants Cost the Federal Government $338.3 Billion a Year!!!!

This common myth is again making the rounds in viral emails and online petitions, updated this time with a claim that that money would be enough to fully stimulate the economy. Before deleting the frustrating forward, consider responding with these quick mythbusting facts!

FACT: Contrary to what people think, undocumented workers are not (and have never been) eligible to claim social security benefits. Moreover, most undocumented workers will use a false social security number to prove work authorization, therefore paying money into a benefit system that they will never be eligible to use.

FACT: According to the Social Security Administration (SSA), undocumented immigrants “account for a major portion” of the billions of dollars paid into the Social Security system under names or social security numbers that don’t match SSA records. As of October 2005, the reported earnings on which these payments are based—which are tracked through the SSA’s Earnings Suspense File (ESF)—totaled $520 billion.
For a more comprehensive response to this, and other false myths, visit Annenberg Political Fact Check.

AILA InfoNet Doc. No. 09041568 (posted Apr. 15, 2009)