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

Police seek well-traveled pickpockets after thefts here

Images and video have been released after thefts in Everett, Lynnwood and elsewhere in the metro area.

4 years later, grieving Oso families remember the mudslide

The ceremony was held near a cedar grove of 43 trees which represent the 43 people killed in 2014.

Retired Naval officer Doug Roulstone to run for state Senate

The Republican will challenge incumbent Sen. Steve Hobbs, D-Lake Stevens, in the 44th District.

Families announce plans for an Oso mudslide memorial

Visitors from throughout the world visit the site of the 2014 slide, which killed 43 people.

Police seek man after stabbing and robbery south of Everett

A convenience store clerk was slashed by a knife-wielding man at 8 a.m. Thursday morning.

Bill aims to curb the filing of campaign finance complaints

It would give the Public Disclosure Commission greater discretion in resolving violations.

Suspect identified in break-in and shooting

He fired one round into a television and more shots when an occupant tried to confront him outside.

Demolition begins, signaling start of courthouse remodel

The date for major construction was pushed back, but completion is still projected for 2021.

Protesting students here have their own horrific memories

Recent mass shootings in Snohomish County loom over gun-control marches in Marysville and Everett.

Most Read