WASHINGTON, DC – When it comes to the economic impact of immigration, it all comes down to whose math you believe.
House Budget Chair John Yarmuth says it could be the answer to maintaining the nation’s social security system for generations to come.
“Immigrants are paying into the social security trust fund and they are paying into the Medicare trust fund and many of them, if they are undocumented, they are not receiving the benefits. They are not eligible to receive social security benefits or Medicare services but they are paying into those funds,” said the Louisville Democrat.
“Granting amnesty to five million illegal immigrants would only extend the solvency of the program by 90 days,” said Rep. Steve Womack, a Republican from Arkansas.
The House Budget Committee held a hearing this week on the economic benefits of immigration. Democrats argue both lawful and undocumented immigrants are aiding states with dwindling populations and enhancing the country’s ability to compete globally. They also point to a Congressional Budget Office estimate that says had Congress enacted immigration reform in 2013, the deficit could have been reduced by nearly 900 billion dollars by 2033. Yarmuth says the debate is particularly relevant to Kentuckians.
“Our state economy is incredibly dependent on immigrant workers, both on the agriculture side and the thoroughbred breeding side. We have a great stake in seeing that we have an orderly and effective immigration system,” said Yarmuth.
According to the Chamber of Commerce, first-generation Americans create 25% of all new businesses in this country. Some Republicans are pushing back against this, saying the data isn’t being fairly presented and that undocumented immigrants are a drain to the system in ways that are at times difficult to quantify.
By Eva Mckend for SPECTRUM NEWS 1
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