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Burns, Rehberg Rail Against Social Security Benefits for Illegal Immigrants

Location: Washington, DC

Burns, Rehberg Rail Against Social Security Benefits for Illegal Immigrants

U.S. Senator Conrad Burns (R-MT) and U.S. Congressman Denny Rehberg (R-MT) said today they oppose an attempt to allow the almost 12 million illegal immigrants currently residing in the U.S. to collect Social Security benefits even if a job was obtained using forged or stolen documents. A Senate amendment that would've restricted access to Social Security for illegal immigrants was blocked by a vote of 50-49. Burns was the only Montana Senator that voted to restrict illegal immigrant access to Social Security.

"Social Security's financial solvency is already in jeopardy," said Rehberg. "Congress should be fighting to protect the retirement security of the millions and millions of hardworking Americans that reside here legally, not rewarding people that make their first act on American soil an illegal one. I'm glad Conrad voted against this act of amnesty."

"Some of my colleagues in the Senate need to realize that this behavior must not be rewarded," Senator Burns said. "Illegal aliens are not only stealing the Social Security numbers of American citizens to falsify work documents, they're placing an additional burden on our social services."

Burns and Rehberg added that the Internal Revenue Service and Social Security Administration are highly susceptible to fraud and abuse, noting reports that Social Security numbers have been used by undocumented workers hundreds, and in some cases, thousands of times. The defeated amendment sought to reduce document fraud and identity theft while preserving the integrity of the Social Security system.

"This amendment is a slap in the face to hardworking Americans and Montanans and the many legal immigrants residing in the U.S.," said Rehberg. "I've said that if a flimsy, watered-down immigration package returns to the House, I'll be voting against it. I certainly won't be supporting this amendment in the House. I'll keep working with Conrad to ensure Congress comes up with immigration reform that makes sense for Montana and this country. "

The Senate also narrowly defeated a provision that would grant illegal immigrants that have committed felonies on U.S. soil the opportunity to become American citizens. The provision was defeated 50-48 where, again, Burns was the only Montana senator voting against it.

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