Study Shows Immigrants Are Helping Save Medicare and Social Security

A newly released report from the Partnership for the New American Economy as well as an analysis from MSNBC of Social Security data offer new evidence to support that immigrants, whether documented or undocumented, are significant contributors to the economic well-being of major safety net programs in the United States. The studies go on to provide that as a result of immigrants being generally younger and healthier than native-born citizens, as well as also being more likely to be an entrepreneur, their net contributions to programs such as Social Security and Medicare far outweigh their costs.

 Our Los Angeles immigration attorneys also shared a report last week from the Washington Post, that declared immigrants were the “best thing” that ever happened to the Medicare program, because they are putting more money into the system and taking fewer benefits out, according to the report by the Partnership for the New American Economy.

The study continued to reveal that immigrants in the United States’ net contribution to Medicare’s Hospital Insurance Trust Fund, which is the program’s core funding source, was a whopping $183 billion between 1996 and 2011. U.S.-born American citizens’ contribution was negative $69 billion for the same time period. On a per person basis, immigrants in the United States contributed an average of $62 more per person to Medicare than U.S.-born individuals, and claim an average of $172 less in benefits.

According to the news report, the net $183 billion contribution from immigrants during the 15 year period was enough funding to ensure the prolonged success of Medicare, which is anticipated to remain solvent through 2030. While the contributions come from a combination of both documented and undocumented immigrants, and given undocumented immigrants cannot received Federal benefits like Medicare and Social Security, one might conclude that their help to the system in due to not being able to receive anything back from what they are paying into; however, the study actually finds that the major reasons they are net-benefit is their general youth and good health. 

Several studies have supported the fact that undocumented immigrants have been key players in saving Social Security. Every year, undocumented immigrants collectively pay as much as $13 billion into the system, while only receiving an average of $1 billion in benefits in return. 

Our U.S. immigration lawyers in Los Angeles argue that leaving undocumented immigrants in the shadows, paying into a system that they will never benefits from is not a long-term solution to programs like Social Security and Medicare’s long-term welfare.With the current situation, a lot of undocumented immigrants do not have Social Security Numbers and cannot pay taxes or pay into these systems. A better plan would be to legalize undocumented immigrants, at least for work authorization, so we could ensure everyone paid into the system and had fair access to these systems.

If you or a loved one has immigration questions, please contact our office for a FREE immigration consultation

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