DeMint Votes to Stop Social Security Benefits for Illegal Labor
May 18th, 2006 - Washington D.C. - Today, Senator Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) voted to support an amendment offered by Senator John Ensign (R-Nev.) that would have prevented Social Security benefits from being awarded to immigrants for time that they worked illegally in the United States. If the immigration compromise bill before the Senate were enacted into law, an estimated 12 million illegal workers would be able to use their past illegal work to qualify for Social Security benefits. Unfortunately, the amendment was defeated 50-49.
"It makes no sense to reward millions of illegal immigrants for criminal behavior while our Social Security system is already in crisis," said Senator DeMint. "American citizens often have their identities stolen so that some illegal immigrants can fraudulently gain employment. Why in the world would we endorse this criminal activity with federal benefits? The Senate missed a big opportunity to improve this bill, and I doubt American seniors will be pleased with the result."
Senator Ensign said the use of falsified documents by illegal immigrants looking for employment in the United States is destroying the credit and finances of tens of thousand of innocent Americans. His amendment would make it easier for the legitimate beneficiary to receive his or her rightful benefits.
The Ensign amendment would allow immigrants to accumulate credit to qualify for Social Security only after they have been assigned a valid Social Security Number.