Category Archives: Social Security Issues

Common Social Security Myth Debunked.

There is a prevalent, stubborn misconception that the federal government awards social security benefits to “illegal aliens” who have never contributed to the system.  In the digital age of mass-emails and chain emails, this common myth is again making the rounds…

FACT: Contrary to what people think, undocumented workers are not (and have never been) eligible to claim social security benefits. Moreover, many undocumented workers use a false/fake social security numbers, 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 conditions 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.

More mythbusting facts on this issue can be found online at the Immigration Policy Center (IPC).

I-9′s now being requested during Adjustment Interviews? Really?

Some USCIS adjudication officers at local District Offices are apparently beginning to request copies of Forms I-9 from applicants who are applying for their Green Cards, via the process known as “adjustment of status” (from non-immigrant to permanent resident).

The instruction letters sent out by the USCIS (to the clients whose interview appointments at the local offices are being scheduled), are still silent on this new request.

Be prepared and provide copies of any previous (at least the most recent) I-9 forms to confirm that no prior claim of U.S. citizenship or of LPR status has previously been made. Discuss this with your lawyer, well in advance of the actual interview, preferrably early on in the process.

If a social security number was used and disclosed on the I-9, you should expect questions as to the origin and legitimacy of the number.

When Immigrants Pay In, but don’t collect… then what?

According to a recent piece by “News USA”, 78 million baby boomers are nearing retirement, at which point they will leave the workforce to receive massive amounts of Social Security Administration (SSA) benefits. In a time of major economic downturn, the unlikely “saving grace” is the immigrant population, which pays into the Social Security system without collecting benefits.

The article goes on to say that so-called undocumented immigrants in the U.S. account for some 5 percent of the nation’s workforce. Contrary to popular belief, between one-half and three-quarters of
undocumented immigrants pay federal and state income taxes, Social Security and Medicare taxes – in addition to sales and property taxes.

As of October 2005, the Social Security Administration concluded that undocumented immigrants contributed an estimated $520 billion to the Social Security system – a figure that would increase exponentially if all of these immigrants were required to earn their legal status and contribute their share.

As the Babyboomers approach retirement age, immigrants will be knowingly or unknowingly subsidizing Social Security benefits, making a basic retirement even possible for millions of Americans.

Many experts and proponents of Comprehensive Immigration Reform have stated repeatedly that by requiring the undocumented aliens to come out of the shadows and earn legal status, immigrants will not only contribute by paying taxes, but will play a hefty role in shoring up the teetering Social Security system, and provide a fiscal windfall to U.S. taxpayers. …what’s so bad about that?