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

Departing mayor’s locally drawn portrait joins city’s pantheon

Artist Elizabeth Person’s portrait of Everett Mayor Ray Stephanson will hang with others at City Hall.

Inslee proposes tapping reserves, carbon tax in budget plan

The proposal also includes money for the mental health system and efforts to fight opioid addiction.

One dead in crash south of Granite Falls

Two cars collided near the intersection of N. Lake Roesiger Road and Hidden Valley Road.

2 women struck, injured while crossing busy roads

The first happened Wednesday night in Everett. The second was Thursday morning in Edmonds.

Lynnwood robbery leads to lockdown at Edmonds schools

Edmonds police said it was just a precaution as they search around Edmonds-Woodway High School.

Marysville 7-Eleven hit by armed robbers

Officers set up a perimeter and brought in a police dog, but the man couldn’t be found.

Snohomish man, 63, missing from home since Monday

He left without his keys, wallet and phone, saying something about going to “the river.”

Counties fed up with unfunded mandates may sue the state

For example, no money has been provided to install, maintain and clear out required ballot boxes.

Inslee budget solves school funding puzzle with piece of carbon

His plan commits to putting another $950 million into the system.

Most Read