Don’t Be Fooled: Mass Immigration Will Only Exacerbate the Social Security Deficit

Mass immigration advocates have long argued that we can actually immigrate ourselves out of the projected Social Security deficit by simply increasing the number of people we import annually. (Nota Bene: On average, the U.S. welcomes more than 1.1 million legal immigrants annually in addition to several hundred thousand illegal immigrants.)  A new FAIR report details why mass immigration will not only fail to solve the Social Security deficit, but will actually make it worse:

  • Native-born individuals, on average, spend at least five more years in the workforce than foreign-born individuals, increasing their overall contributions to the Social Security system.
  • Native born individuals generally earn higher wages than immigrants. This wage disparity is due to the fact that most immigrants are selected due to chain migration and not because they have special skills, talents or English language abilities. As a result  native born individuals contribute roughly $32,000 more in Social Security taxes throughout their working careers than their foreign-born counterparts.
  • Because of the imbalance in both wages and years worked, native-born individuals receive 96 percent of what they paid into the program, while immigrants receive roughly 110 to 120 percent of what they paid into the program.

The good news is that immigration can help rescue the nation from the Social Security deficit if done properly.  The first step would be to pivot to a merit-based selection process – like Canada and Australia – and select immigrants who are more highly skilled, more highly educated or possess English language skills so they can hit the ground running when they arrive.

Furthermore, the U.S. should uphold the “public charge rule,” that ensures that immigrants prove that they are financially able to support themselves and their families before coming to the U.S. Higher incomes would increase Social Security contributions.

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