r Letter From Eastie: Ha!! I've been saying this for years.
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Collaged view of Boston, from East Boston

Letter From Eastie

News and other items from East Boston, Massachusetts.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Ha!! I've been saying this for years.

The New York Times has an article in their business section that basically backs up what I've been saying for a long time. Of course, I have no way to corroborate that I am so smart. hehe Oh, yes, I do. You can ask my dad. He's been hearing this speech for a long time. Once many moons ago, I worked in a place that had some undocumented workers. Everyone knew they were undocumented, yet they got paid on the payroll like everyone else by using a false Social Security number. I remember asking my boss how do they get their taxes back if they can't file. His answer was simple. They don't. Oh, says I, then what does the government do with that money? He said, what do you think they do with it? They keep it!
Illegal Immigrants Are Bolstering Social Security With Billions

STOCKTON, Calif. - Since illegally crossing the Mexican border into the United States six years ago, Ángel Martínez has done backbreaking work, harvesting asparagus, pruning grapevines and picking the ripe fruit. More recently, he has also washed trucks, often working as much as 70 hours a week, earning $8.50 to $12.75 an hour.

Not surprisingly, Mr. Martínez, 28, has not given much thought to Social Security's long-term financial problems. But Mr. Martínez - who comes from the state of Oaxaca in southern Mexico and hiked for two days through the desert to enter the United States near Tecate, some 20 miles east of Tijuana - contributes more than most Americans to the solvency of the nation's public retirement system.

Last year, Mr. Martínez paid about $2,000 toward Social Security and $450 for Medicare through payroll taxes withheld from his wages. Yet unlike most Americans, who will receive some form of a public pension in retirement and will be eligible for Medicare as soon as they turn 65, Mr. Martínez is not entitled to benefits.

He belongs to a big club. As the debate over Social Security heats up, the estimated seven million or so illegal immigrant workers in the United States are now providing the system with a subsidy of as much as $7 billion a year.

While it has been evident for years that illegal immigrants pay a variety of taxes, the extent of their contributions to Social Security is striking: the money added up to about 10 percent of last year's surplus - the difference between what the system currently receives in payroll taxes and what it doles out in pension benefits. Moreover, the money paid by illegal workers and their employers is factored into all the Social Security Administration's projections.


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