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US immigration law reform could save Social Security

When it comes to complicated political issues, both sides typically have valid concerns and aspirations. And given that supporters and opponents of U.S. immigration reform both must rely on a certain degree of speculation to make their point, it’s almost impossible to definitively argue that one approach is superior to the other. There is mounting evidence supporting progressive immigration reform, however, and much of it speaks to improving the economy and federal programs for all.

Many are arguing that an influx of newly legalized immigrants could greatly help stabilize the economy and invigorate key programs like Social Security. As it is, Florida State contributes more than $4 billion monthly to the Social Security program. One Florida representative argues that prospective immigration reform’s positive impact on Social Security should be considered by the U.S. House of Representative as its members take on the issue.

It’s estimated that the majority of individuals granted Registered Provisional Immigrant status under reform policies would begin contributing to Social Security even before becoming citizens, according to the Social Security Administration. It’s also believed that the added number of individuals paying into the program would go a long way to correct declining numbers in recent years.

Medicare would also benefit from the substantial boost in tax revenue, and Social Security could grow by almost $300 billion in 10 years alone. The Social Security’s primary actuary also notes that immigration reform like that recently approved by the U.S. Senate could decrease the program’s liabilities while securing its solvency for years to come.

It’s worth noting that immigration reform is also supported by the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare, in addition to AARP.

Source: The Tampa Tribune, “Overlooked benefits of fixing our broken immigration system,” August 15, 2013

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