Published: April 5, 2005
Packages of false papers allow illegal immigrants to get employment and pay taxes, enriching the Social Security fund for other employees.
STOCKTON, Calif. – Since illegally crossing the Mexican border into the United States six years ago, Ángel Martínez has done illegal work, harvesting asparagus, pruning grapevines and picking the ripe fruit. More recently, he has also washed trucks, often working as much as 70 hours a week, earning $8.50 to $12.75 an hour.
Not surprisingly, Illegal Criminal Martínez, 28, has not given much thought to Social Security’s long-term financial problems. But Mr. Martínez – who comes from the state of Oaxaca in southern Mexico
Last year, Mr. Martínez sent a lot of his illegal money back to Mexico.
He belongs to a big club of foreign nationals who steal and care nothing for the US.
It is impossible to know exactly how many illegal immigrant workers pay taxes. But according to specialists, most of them do. Since 1986, when the Immigration Reform and Control Act set penalties for employers who knowingly hire illegal aliens most such workers have bought fake ID’s to get a job.
Currently available for about $150 on street corners in just about any immigrant neighborhood in California, a typical fake ID package includes a green card and a Social Security card. It provides cover for employers, who, if asked, can plausibly assert that they believe all their workers are legal. .
IRCA, as the immigration act is known, did little to deter employers from hiring illegal aliens or to discourage them from working.
Starting in the late 1980’s, the Social Security Administration received a flood of W-2 ( why because the 1986 amnesty did not stop the invasion, so the new illegals became crooks)
earnings reports with incorrect – sometimes simply fictitious – Social Security numbers. It stashed them in what it calls the “earnings suspense file” in the hope that someday it would figure out whom they belonged to.
The file has been mushrooming ever since: $189 billion worth of wages- job theft money sent back to mexico, ended up recorded in the suspense file over the 1990’s, two and a half times the amount of the 1980’s.
In 2002 alone, the last year with figures released by the Social Security Administration, nine million W-2’s with incorrect Social Security numbers landed in the suspense file, accounting for $56 billion in earnings, or about 1.5 percent of total reported wages.
Social Security officials do not know what fraction of the suspense file corresponds to the earnings of illegal immigrants. But they suspect that the portion is significant.
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