As the debate over how illegal aliens are having a deleterious effect on the U.S. economy, anti-immigrants need to go back to school and study up on their math.
For example, as concerns about Social Security heat 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. They are contributing into the SS system in large numbers and over 95 percent of them will never retire here nor will they ever receive any of those funds. Even those illegal’s who use fake SS cards contribute into the system.
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.
Also, as the anti-immigrant crowd cry and bemoan that illegal’s are a drain on educational resources, none of them mention the fact that local schools throughout the country receive Average Daily Attendance (ADA) funds from the Federal government, to the tune between $5000 to $9000 (depending on their state) for each student that attends a class on a daily basis. In other words, if fifty students attend school on any given day, the school receives fifty ADA credits. If 100 students attend school, they receive 100 ADA credits. The interesting aspect of this formula is that the government does not ask if the student attending class is in this country illegally, which means if 50 of the 100 kids attending school each day are illegal, the schools get the funding, regardless, which means that illegal’s are obviously paying for a good portion of teacher and administrative staff salaries. As those immigrant students who have excelled in school have demonstrated, they will be a tremendous asset to the nation. Actually, this country should be proud and excited to see the DREAM Act pass. The benefits to our economy down the road by their presence will be immeasurable.
Also, while many complain that illegal’s are draining the tax burden of America when they receive welfare, they have to remember that those who apply for welfare have to prove they possess citizenship documentation or they don’t qualify. If some illegal’s slip through the qualifying system, those recipients will spend the majority of their earnings on food, rent, clothing and transportation, which mean those funds keep churning the local economy, creating more jobs and immediately contribute to the local tax base. They most certainly are not depositing those funds into an IRA account or other savings programs.
Lastly, anti-immigrants complain that portions of the money illegal’s earn in the US are sent to their relatives in Mexico. If we view this complaint with a glass half full, it appears that those Mexicans who receive those funds are not likely to leave Mexico for the US.
In essence, the hue and cry that illegal’s are draining the economic welfare of U.S. citizens, it appears the issue is not really about economics at all, it’s about the reality that many Mexicans (and U.S. born Americans of Mexican descent) have always known and felt: “They just don’t like us, plain and simple.” Regardless, their presence in the U.S. is having a more positive impact on our economy instead of the other way around.