Skip to comments.Social Security for Mexicans closer to reality; U.S. discussing plan
Posted on 12/11/2003 3:48:26 PM PST by yonif
The prospect of millions of Mexicans receiving United States Social Security checks is moving closer to reality.
The Gannett News Service reports U.S. and Mexican officials are discussing a "totalization" agreement that would transfer hundreds of millions of dollars in payments south of the border. The plan would allow documented and undocumented immigrants to return home but still collect U.S. benefits.
WorldNetDaily reported the idea to merge both countries' Social Security systems was pushed late last year by Mexican President Vincente Fox as payback from President George W. Bush for failing to secure major new immigration reforms beneficial to Mexico City.
"When the legalization talks began going nowhere, the Mexicans began focusing on this," Maria Blanco, national senior counsel for the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, told the Washington Post.
Excerpts from a U.S. Social Security Administration memo dated December 2002 said the agreement "is expected to move forward at an accelerated pace."
The pact is the latest and largest attempt by Washington and Mexico City to ensure that people from one country working in another aren't taxed twice for Social Security benefits. In the first year alone, the agreement is expected to trigger 37,000 claims from Mexicans working in the U.S. legally who paid Social Security taxes but haven't been able to claim their checks, said the memo, prepared by Ted Girdner, the Social Security Administration's assistant associate commissioner for international operations.
Supporters say the proposal would improve the daily lives of Mexican citizens, many of whom are still trapped in poverty a decade after the North American Free Trade Agreement promised prosperity to the nation's 103.4 million people.
"Let's be honest, there are millions of Mexican immigrants contributing to the Social Security system and the U.S. economy," Katherine Culliton, an attorney with the Washington, D.C., office of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund, told Gannett. "It's only fair they get back a benefit they deserve that will keep them from dying in poverty."
Critics, as well as some on the Bush administration economic team, worry that adding more beneficiaries would burden an already ailing system, just as American baby boomers begin to retire.
Currently, around 94,000 beneficiaries living abroad have been brought into the U.S. system under the auspices of about 20 international treaties designed to help Americans sent abroad by their employers signed since 1977. The accords are mostly with European countries, but also include Canada and South Korea.
Of the $408 billion distributed in Social Security benefits in 2001, according to Gannett, the federal government paid $173 million to about 89,000 foreigners living abroad.
Opponents contend the number of Mexican beneficiaries added to the fold would dwarf the total numbers from the 20 other countries. One estimate puts the number of Mexicans coming into the system at around 164,000 in the first five years.
Social Security Administration officials estimate about 50,000 Mexicans would collect $78 million in the first year of a U.S.-Mexican agreement. By 2050, the number is predicted to swell to 300,000 Mexicans collecting $650 million in benefits a year.
But that number doesn't include the potentially eligible, undocumented Mexican immigrants numbering about 5 million, according to federal estimates a recent General Accounting Office report pointed out.
Accounting for illegals, the agreement could cost U.S. taxpayers $750 million within five years of implementation.
Steven A. Camarota, director of research at the Center for Immigration Studies, says if Mexicans receive the $8,100 in benefits that Mexican-born retirees in the U.S. currently get, the total expenditure for the program will easily surpass $1 billion annually.
Beyond the cost, Republican lawmakers worry the proposal will fuel further illegal immigration.
"Talk about an incentive for illegal immigration," Gannett quotes Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, as saying. "How many more would break the law to come to this country if promised U.S. government paychecks for life?"
Any "totalization" agreement ultimately reached must be approved by Congress.
Sure ... why not ... what the hell ... The federal government has already given us 50% taxes, free speech restraints in the form of CFR, is brain-washing our children in multicultural diversity. The border is a joke, immigration laws are un-enforced. What's another $750 million dollars going out of the US economy to reward law-breaking alien invaders who care nothing for our laws or culture?
The frogs have been boiling for so long they are cooked well done by now.
I have a feeling if they worked here legally, did every thing legally they already get Medicare and Social Security checks when they retire. I know they get Medicare ---- there are many living in Mexico who come over with Medicare numbers ---- because they worked and retired here.
I did some reading on this recently. It seems that what matters is the worker's status at the time benefits are applied for, not their status at the time of employment. From Congressional testimony by Barbara Bovbjerg, a GAO manager:
You are required under the law from the Welfare Reform Act of '96 to be legally present to get benefits here. How you earn those benefits is not relevant to the Social Security Administration's work. If you earned them legally or illegally and you are legally present, you will be paid those benefits. If you are not legally present, you can get them if you are a Mexican citizen in Mexico. Source
Also, she states in the same hearings on page 30 that there are 50,000 living in Mexico that currently receive Social Security benefits.
Geez,do you suppose many of them will still be trapped in poverty a decade after this cockamamie idea promises whatever it promises?
I am taxed twice. Once when I earned it, and again as I spent it.
How many million does Mexico owe to the US?
No! No! A thousand times, No! What is wrong with this picture? Might as well get rid of all national sovereignty right now.
But that number doesn't include the potentially eligible, undocumented Mexican immigrants numbering about 5 million, according to federal estimates Accounting for illegals, the agreement could cost U.S. taxpayers $750 million within five years of implementation.
What's wrong with those numbers? 300,000 beneficiaries get $650,000,000 a year in 2050. Or; 5,000,000 beneficiaries get $750,000,000 a year in 2008. Surely that isn't due to some inflation projection?
.3 million vs 5 million. $650 million vs $750 million.
Hey! What's that white fuzzy stuff blocking my view? Is that ... is that ...WOOL?