Immigration bill a boost to Social Security

WASHINGTON — The bipartisan Senate immigration proposal would provide a boost to the Social Security fund, its chief actuary said Wednesday, as more immigrants come out of the underground economy and begin paying taxes.

The assessment of the bill’s impact on Old-Age, Survivors and Disability Insurance is another entry in a growing body of economic data amassing on both sides of the immigration reform debate.

“Overall, we anticipate that the net effect of this bill on the long-range OASDI actuarial balance will be positive,” Stephen C. Goss, the chief actuary of the Social Security Administration, wrote in a letter to Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., an architect of the bipartisan legislation.

The chief actuary wrote that the number of workers paying taxes into the system would increase as the bill provides legal status for the estimated 11 million immigrants who entered the country illegally or overstayed their visas.

“Many of these individuals already work in the country in the underground economy, not paying taxes, and will begin paying taxes,” the letter said.

The letter also said that over the long haul, the benefits for immigrants who become legal would “become more significant.” At the same time, children of immigrants would “have substantial positive effects” on the fund.

Enhanced security proposed for the southwestern border “will reduce the number entering the country without authorization by about half a million per year by the time the measures are fully implemented,” the letter said.

The chief actuary noted that the estimates were preliminary, and that the Social Security Administration was developing a longer, 75-year estimate, as is normally done for the fund.

The bill heads to committee Thursday for the first of several days of amendment debate. A report this week from the conservative Heritage Foundation said that legalizing immigrants would be a $6.3 trillion drain on federal revenues because they would collect more in government services than they pay in taxes. Other conservatives disputed the report.

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office is expected to present a separate analysis in the weeks ahead.

More in Local News

Minutes mattered the day Pat Ward was brought back to life

The Mukilteo police and fire chaplain died at breakfast. She got a second chance thanks to a waitress.

Cool additions at an elementary school in Everett

A totem pole and new gardens grace the courtyard of Whittier Elementary School.

Kids suspected in school’s smashed windows and other damage

The cost of the damage at Explorer Middle School in south Everett is estimated to be $5,000.

Recall issued for about 1,250 pounds of meat

Camano Island’s Sausage Haus products might be contaminated.

3 women seek open seat in 39th District

The GOP nominees hope to fill the opening created by the resignation of Republican John Koster.

Lake Stevens High senior has an entrepreneurial mind

John Cramer crafts and sells designer pens to help pay for college

Marysville-Arlington fiber-optic link planned by Comcast

The high-speed internet line, to be ready next year, is seen as a boost for business development.

Front Porch

EVENTS Health fairs A Senior Healthy Living Fair is set for noon… Continue reading

Cellphone carrier substation in Snohomish vandalized

Detectives with the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office are investigating a… Continue reading

Most Read