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Immigrant Labor No Cure For Social Security Woes
 
(February 16, 2005 - Washington, DC) A new study authored by Stuart Anderson, long associated with libertarian open borders advocacy groups, suggests more immigration is the magic bullet to solve the Social Security system's long-term structural deficits. The Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) contends the solution offered by Mr. Anderson actually perpetuates an unsustainable pyramid scheme and ignores short-term fiscal and social costs that far outweigh any potential benefits to the Social Security system in the distant future.

Anderson's report, funded by The Merage Foundation for the American Dream, a foundation that promotes mass immigration, says a one-third increase in our current record-busting levels of legal immigration will result in a 10 percent reduction in the projected future deficit in the Social Security trust fund. In exchange for this small reduction in the Social Security shortfall in the distant future, Americans will have to assume the near-term, and dangerous increases in costs for education, health care and countless welfare programs used by immigrants.

"Anderson's magic bullet is more like a game of Russian Roulette," says Dan Stein, President of FAIR. "Any rational cost-benefit assessment of the kind of massive increase in immigration Mr. Anderson is recommending makes the whole idea a non-starter. By the report's own admission, this massive increase in immigration, at best, will only make a minor dent in our Social Security deficit. In exchange for a slight 10 percent reduction in future deficits, current workers will see their wages depressed as millions more immigrants flood the labor market. School systems already overwhelmed by mass immigration will have to make room for still more special-needs children in their classrooms. Public health care systems staggering under the burden of providing services to uninsured immigrants will have to figure out how to provide for still greater numbers, and America will have to cope with the consequences of a massive population increase.

"The idea that we can solve the long-term problems of our Social Security system on the backs of millions of low-wage immigrants simply doesn't add up," Stein continues. "Anderson's plan also begs the question of what happens when all these new immigrants paying into the system reach retirement age themselves. Who will pay for their benefits?"

According to recent studies, including one by Harvard University's George Borjas, today's immigrants earn significantly less on average than their native-born counterparts, and immigrant-headed household are 50 percent more likely to rely on some means-tested government assistance program.

"Any middle-aged baby boomers who are contemplating a cushy retirement financed by the sweat and taxes of millions of poor immigrant workers are likely to be in for a rude surprise down the road," says Stein. "There are no quick fixes for Social Security's solvency problems. Not only will a massive immigration increase not do the trick, that scheme will exacerbate a host of other fiscal and social problems."



 
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