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Illegal immigrants often use SS# cards that aren't theirs - not sure how those numbers get generated.... Can an illegal work a liftime on a fake SS# and not get retirment benefit or medicaid?   Curious...seems I should know this answer.  Seems the IRS should know too...or someone whose number is being used....

As a long time Arizona resident I am intimate with many of the issues raised lately around the recent immigration bill... I will withhold my options b/c they are many and varied.... and for the most part thoughtful and kind.  I tend to view things under the ideology of "you are another myself" and measure political choices for humanity and individuals first.  The tension in those evaluations is reflected in every choice we make...from leaving an empty milk carton in the what laws we support....

One question I have always had though,  when various taxes are taken from the paycheck of an illegal immigrant using a "borrowed" social security number and paid to my government... who is the beneficiary for those payments? An example..One must reach a certain pay-in to qualify for social security at retirement...and if I have been using someone else's Social Security number how does that work?  Is there someone out there watching their SS benefit statement increase and not report?  Are these the SS# of dead people? Does the IRS not verify tax returns? It just seems to me - given the volumes of info the Gov has on us all - that it wouldn't be too difficult for the Feds to compare SS# pay-in and any toe "living" pay-in at remote addresses, or people in their 80's still paying on income, etc...

Anyone know or speculate how that happens?  It has been a few decades (it seems anyway) that AZ employers have been required to get that dear SS#.  Employers who take those SS# and supporting card at face value...they don't think it is their job to perform investigations of documents......

Today my daughter-in-law, who works at a fancy Mexican food restaurant reports that half the cooks will walk out on Friday... they earn about $15/hr -  cooks are a decent paid job here (many people work in this city for minimum wage).  They plan to move to less unfriendly environs, so I guess anywhere but here  (I have been of the same mood for oh...20 years..haha - it's not the desert - that's beautiful - it's everything else).

will they leave?  Estimates are as many as 500,000 still left in the area employed.  Many, many immigrants (legal and not) left with the bust...when the money dried up they were the first to feel it...the guys on corners - sometimes in the hundreds - waiting for landscape and random labor jobs are pretty much gone.

Ok rambling - been a while since I bothered to post.... not very happy with what I am seeing politically and socially on so many levels.. and yet.... not so excited about joining the din of voices.... I have more questions than answers these days, and a sense of misplaced trust...and I mean that with respect to all three branches of our Government.

oops sorry... I am focused on staying positive..

Where do those illegal immigrant tax dollars go and why can't we track phony or borrowed SS numbers?  Just curious.

By the way... I don't think immigration is the problem .... everyone was OK with illegals when the money was rolling and State's could pay their bills.... things are tight now and they are looking for distractions from the real reason they blew their money, etc.... it isn't barefoot guys crossing the desert to work and send money home.....nope, it's folks like the employees of Blue, California..... It’s us guys... and our government’s bills could all be paid if we insist we get out of Afghan and Iraq.....fix the political process so that corporations aren't controlling everything and we as people actually have a voice again through our congress, etc...    100 senators for 350 million people.... and lobbies send how much on those 100 people a year?  

Anyway.... AZ - Brewer...your problems aren't b/c of illegals....but all of every level.....

on "cartels" etc.....  these laws don’t address that....these aren't the people that will be calling the police or fire for help.....they don’t care about our laws....unless, haha, drugs were legalized and regulated and taxed.....

The immigration problem and drug problem go to Mexico and corruption....and the US and in the end a money/complex around "Illegal drugs"  that fuels many jobs.....not to mention protect those ever powerful pharmaceutical companies...

seems like, wee..... This immigration thing feels like a GOP social engineering thing to convince the uniformed and afraid that stepping on a brown immigrant will solve the problems we face....rather than allow their attention turn to the payola and incompetence of the GOP.....

sorry about typos I can't find my glasses and if I re-read this I probably won't post!  


Ok I did a spell check at lest sorry such little attention and thank you for your time.

Originally posted to mjgl on Mon Jul 26, 2010 at 09:22 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  There is no way to (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nextstep, Aquagranny911

    track where the taxes of of "illegals" go,  just like I can't track where your taxes go.

    Jerry Brown for CA_GOV 2010

    by GlowNZ on Mon Jul 26, 2010 at 09:30:01 AM PDT

  •  No. (11+ / 0-)

    Don't they have google where you live?

    Can an illegal work a liftime on a fake SS# and not get retirment benefit or medicaid?  


    We’ll just quickly note that illegal immigrants are broadly disqualified from collecting benefits from government programs, according to U.S. Code, with only limited exceptions. Those exceptions are:

    Emergency medical care (which includes emergency labor and delivery)
    Emergency disaster relief that is provided for the short term and is not a cash payment
    Limited immunizations and testing, and treatment of symptoms of communicable diseases
    Certain community programs, such as soup kitchens or crisis counseling, as specified by the Attorney General
    Limited housing or community development assistance to those already receiving it in 1996
    These are the only circumstances under which illegal immigrants can lawfully receive government assistance. Notably absent from this list is any type of Social Security benefits. To repeat: Illegal immigrants cannot legally receive Social Security benefits, and Congress isn’t about to vote on legislation that would change that.

    In fact, the people using fake SS numbers contribute hundreds of millions of dollars in payroll taxes for medicare and social security, and they'll never get any.  The SSA knows it happens, although it doesn't know who exactly is faking it,  and, well, keeps the money.

    Someone on daily kos called me a poopyhead. My life is SO like Nelson Mandela's.

    by Inland on Mon Jul 26, 2010 at 09:30:10 AM PDT

    •  my point exactly (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      and yet...the IRS is pretty quick to figure out so many other things don't you think?

      •  IRS doesn't see who is overpaying taxes. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        I think what you're saying is, that we should be able to catch people giving false SS #s.  Maybe yes, maybe no.  But theres' no doubt the government is making money on the deal, so....

        Someone on daily kos called me a poopyhead. My life is SO like Nelson Mandela's.

        by Inland on Mon Jul 26, 2010 at 09:45:30 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  yes and no (0+ / 0-)

          seems to me yes, in that if this immigration is truel a problem then the Government would be using such data....

          so aparently it isn;t a problem from a TAX money perspective...and if not, then the supporters of tougher immigration enforcement are isolated simply as racist....

          on the "drugs" across the border - haha....  cartels are dangerous and a problem especially in Mexico as they battle their own Government and competition...  but, tough immigration won't fix that.... a change in our drug laws will...and maybe even pressure on Mexico.... why don't Mexican's want to live where they grew up and all their loved ones are?  Mexico Government sucks and that is where the pressure should be.

          •  As long as we keep buying the drugs in the record (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            dollar amounts that we do, they are going to keep selling them, IMHO. We have a supply/demand situation. As long as the demand stays high, all you really do is increase the selling price when your drug policy is based mostly on stopping supply.

            Legallizing pot might bust up some of the drug cartels, like repealing prohibition did.

            Today's problems are yesterday's solutions. Don Beck

            by Sherri in TX on Mon Jul 26, 2010 at 10:02:24 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  i am thinking this includes (0+ / 0-)

              even "hard drugs"  regulate/tax    meth is so easy to make....and so cheap...... keeping things like imported Cocaine at this level illegal and then perscribing Ritilin like jelly beans....

              I think perhaps things are more about corporate profits then I ever imagined.....

              I guess I am fallin hard from the "government for the people by the people" bandwagon

          •  Well, if you are saying that the gov. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            mjgl, DruidQueen

            isn't trying very hard with regard to illegal immigration, I would say that was absolutely true...until Obama.

            For the most part, Bush and the GOP made it so that if someone got past the border, there was no enforcment besides a raiding workplaces one at a time, which meant it was more likely for an illegal immigrant to get struck by lighting than get caught.  Bush, of course, wanted failure: the number of illegal aliens was his argument for "reform".

            Compare Obama:


            Over the past year, Immigration and Customs Enforcement has conducted audits of employee files at more than 2,900 companies. The agency has levied a record $3 million in civil fines so far this year on businesses that hired unauthorized immigrants, according to official figures. Thousands of those workers have been fired, immigrant groups estimate.

            Employers say the audits reach more companies than the work-site roundups of the administration of President George W. Bush. The audits force businesses to fire every suspected illegal immigrant on the payroll— not just those who happened to be on duty at the time of a raid — and make it much harder to hire other unauthorized workers as replacements. Auditing is "a far more effective enforcement tool," said Mike Gempler, executive director of the Washington Growers League, which includes many worried fruit growers.

            Someone on daily kos called me a poopyhead. My life is SO like Nelson Mandela's.

            by Inland on Mon Jul 26, 2010 at 10:14:34 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  i don't know what I am saying that's why I posted (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              it goes back to living here so many years, knowing so many personal just has never been the "problem" it is now painted to be...and I wonder

              Constitutional law issues aside.... is immigration really the problem as stated by the Governor or supporters?  She is quoted as saying it's about "drug cartels"  and security, etc....

              And so why now is immigration reform the solution to drug laws?

              It all doesn't pass the smell test you know?

              On the other hand....  how is it as the one post pointed out....the system does nothing to require due diligence of employers?

              So, I personally feel like "immigration law" in AZ is a rally point, a distraction, from the real deep issues that go to the core of our government and beuracracy and other weaknesses that are now exposed in hard financial times.... it just feels like classic blame the poorest - least powerful group for our problems.... get the idiot masses to join the mantra while we continue our bad almost every level...the beuracracy and waste, etc.... but that goes to the very individuals calling us to arms on immigration...

              I think we need to resist any distractions from one or two priorities....

              the wars we are in

              and the financial pwer so few corportations hold over us all

    •  In the years before the I-9 form, (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Catte Nappe, Inland, nextstep, mjgl, DruidQueen

      which requires prospective employees to provide two pieces of ID, one to establish identity and one to establish legal right to work, many undocumented workers would work under the SSN 000-00-0000.
      The Social Security Administration always knew the numbers were a fraud, but only too happily accepted the non voluntary "contributions" into the general SS fund.

      I had a brother at Khe Sanh, fightin' off them Viet Cong, they're still there, but he's all gone. The Boss

      by DaNang65 on Mon Jul 26, 2010 at 09:39:08 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  IN the interest of a complete response... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      ...from the same source:

      Of course, some immigrants who are here without legal permission do end up receiving Social Security and other benefits, through bureaucratic mistakes or through deliberate fraud. The Government Accountability Office has even called this a "serious problem," though the GAO also says that "the full extent of benefit fraud is unknown." This problem draws the ire of conservative commentators and is sometimes distorted in Internet or e-mail postings to imply falsely that such payments are government policy.

  •  I once sat in on a public-private task force (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sfbob, DaNang65, mjgl, DruidQueen

    in NE WI where that exact issue came up. The speaker was a representative from the SSA, and his concern was that undocumented workers paying in to the system have no opportunity to collect benefits. As a civil servant, he was concerned that people are not getting the benefits they deserve, even as he recognized that their contributions help maintain the system's solvency.

    •  agreed - so who is ? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      litho, sfbob

      Yep, that is what I have thought these many years...but the real question is who is benefitting?  Well obviously we all are at some level.....and so the argument that illegals drain social programs - hospitals, etc - does not seem to hold water does it?

    •  I think they deserve zero benefits. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I just don't have a problem with that.  We didn't set up these programs to help just anyone who pays taxes in an arrangement that is illegal.

      Someone on daily kos called me a poopyhead. My life is SO like Nelson Mandela's.

      by Inland on Mon Jul 26, 2010 at 09:50:57 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  agreed (0+ / 0-)

        I agree - I am for legal immigration - but again it just seems to weird...we have this sacred number - our SS# and it is tied to everything I do.....and with all our computing power and 9-11 savy we can't track pay-in and pay-out to real people?

        ok... it is as I thought though.... we all pretty much know the same thing on this....and in reality our knowledge is not too deep....about the actual mechanics of how our SS track with us, etc.
        350 million is a lot of people.

        I think we should start a movement to at least double the number of US senators.... to better offer representation.... when the constitution was written there were how many people in the most populous state?

      •  aoeu (0+ / 0-)

        Precisely, if they are old and they don't go home they should die on the street. Spot on chap!

        •  Eh. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Your plan of having them die on the streets of their home country is about the same, isn't it?

          Someone on daily kos called me a poopyhead. My life is SO like Nelson Mandela's.

          by Inland on Mon Jul 26, 2010 at 10:09:26 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  no no (0+ / 0-)

          I have a law degree.. so I am intimate with the S. Ct rulings on kids etc and the is humane and proper.  That's not what I mean by support legal immigration.  Most believe there is an enforcement issue of exisitng laws...that I probably would agree with although not so informed.
          The issue of "anchor-babies" and kids brought in by parents, etc ...and long term residents is another issue entirely from enforcement of existing laws.  And I think we do need to adress this issue head on, as the perceived "safety-net" of SS for us is not even there for them..... unless they do a better job of raising kids and they are welcome in their son's home at their end....

          so don't please get me wrong.  My first impression alwasy is "you are another me"  and I review everythign politically from that perspective.  Individual vs group tensions in choices? ..and then add any affiliation via city, state, nation, religion, etc....  

          ahh just start with "you are another myself" and we would all figure it out from there.

      •  not only that (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Inland, mjgl

        But the argument that it's unfair to tax people for a benefit that wont' receive is an argument for doing away with social security in its entirely. Millions of US citizens have paid into social security and medicare and not gotten the benefits of it, too. I've paid many thousands into both in my career thus far yet haven't received any benefits. If I die too soon, I will realize them or if I die shortly after becoming eligible, I won't realize the full benefit.

  •  Well, first you have to understand that SS (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pozzo, mjgl

    is basically a fiction at this point anyways. There's not "account" with your contributions in it. You pay the money, and the federal government takes it for its general purposes, and puts an "IOU" into your "account". Social security "premiums", i.e. taxes, have exceeded benefits paid for many years now, so there are a hell of a lot of IOU's.

    So, it doesn't really matter that the illegal aliens pay into it, but it's not under their own "account". The money is used by the government for its general purposes the same as the rest, only in this case, they don't even have put the IOU into an account. It's a win-win for everyone!

    •  There never was an account with your name on it (0+ / 0-)

      in that sense, and insurance premiums, public or private, are always used for other purposes; the Hartford uses your life insurance payments, e.g., in part to pay benefits to people who are currently collecting, in part to invest and earn income, and in part for operating expenses. They are premiums nonetheless, and there is still a wall around Social Security financing. The fact that the federal government borrows from the Trust Fund is irrelevant and doesn't make SS a fiction. Calling the premiums taxes and breaking down the wall isolating SS accounting can only be a bad thing for Social Security.

      You do have an account under your Social Security number, of course, tracking your lifetime contributions. But this is for the purpose of determining benefit levels only, if and when you collect.

      The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt. --Bertrand Russell

      by denise b on Mon Jul 26, 2010 at 11:47:48 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I totally agree with you (0+ / 0-)

        that there should continue to be a wall around SS accounting and that premiums should not be considered taxes, but that's the way it's being talked about.

        I was really responding to the diarist wondering where the payments made by illegal aliens go. His question assumed that payments made by authorized workers go into some kind of an account under their name. I pointed out that nobody's payments are sitting in individual accounts, but there are IOU's that are based on those payments.

        And I'm worried that with the way SS is being talked about, with the "Cat Food Commmission" etc., it will in the near future be turned into more of a welfare program, where you're not really "owed" anything based on your contributions, but instead you just get what you get based on need and/or the politics of the moment.

        For that reason I don't think the IOU's are "irrevelant". It contributes to the general sense that in order to deal with the federal "deficit" we have to deal with Social Security and Medicare primarily, and that's what opens the door to transforming benefits owed into "you'll get whatever we say you'll get" after we've finished paying off the debts for bailouts, and corporate welfare, and unfunded wars, and tax cuts for the rich, etc.

  •  The money goes into the SS general fund (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Catte Nappe, Pozzo, denise b, Inland, mjgl

    In the past when you hired an illegal, The employer paid the FICA/IRS taxes and sent them in under the given number. Generally, about 1 year later, Social security would send you a letter saying there was a problem with the number, please verify with your employee. At which point, said employee would leave your employ, or go around the corner and buy a new number and you would start the game all over again. Same with taxes collected for IRS. Many Govt computers are running on 20 year old technology, so it took quite awhile for the govt to catch up with the bad number, by which time many employees are gone. The unclaimed funds go in the general fund. So illegals are paying taxes for benefits they will never receive. They consider it part of the price for working.

    The law is written so that their was really no penalty for hiring illegals.

    The employer had to knowingly hire an illegal. the employer could claim ignorance, as there was no way to verify number when you hired the person.

    In the last 10 years as technology is finally catching up with the 21st century many states, I know Texas does, mandate that you do an insta check on line that the number/name match is good. There are penalties for hiring a person who hasn't been verified.  Still many illegals use names and numbers of legal hispanics, and it still takes time for the offense to be caught. Meanwhile they are still working and paying in.

    I have always contended the real way to stop illegal workers was to make the penalty so stiff/ or the procedure so difficult to navigate on the employers they wouldn't hire. Building fences isn't the real solution.
    No jobs, no reason to cross the border.

    Today's problems are yesterday's solutions. Don Beck

    by Sherri in TX on Mon Jul 26, 2010 at 09:56:31 AM PDT

    •  If you make a procedure very difficult, legal (0+ / 0-)

      Hispanics will have trouble getting hired.

      •  you are making a joke correct? (0+ / 0-)

        I should take my post... "I dont know what I am saying" and add it to the diary entry b/c I think that is what I am saying.

        But b/c it seems this is a racial issue at it's core, rather than a drug cartel issue (or why the use of immigration law?) as is promoted...each ad here locally is about "border security"  not economic drain..... it's totally racial I am convinced and therefor we should resist on every level.

        If we agree with the existing laws.... the numbers, the process to legal immigration, then why isn't the focus on preventing the legal employemnt..which is what the SS# card game is about....

        so the genral fund gets the money......


  •  $500 Billion (5+ / 0-)

    There was an excellent article on this subject several years ago in the Ann Arbor Observer.  It pointed out that illegal immigrants are not undocumented, but rather possess false documents needed to get hired, so the employer does not run afoul of the law.  It takes over a year for the employer to receive notice from the IRS of a nonmatching name/ssn.  When this happens, the employee moves on.  The estimate given at the time was that about $500 billion had been paid into Social Security and Medicare by nonmatches.  So, contrary to what you may have heard, they do not receive benefits for free.  In fact, they pay for benefits that they never receive.    

  •  well actually (0+ / 0-)

    Employers who take those SS# and supporting card at face value...they don't think it is their job to perform investigations of documents......

    In fact, it is not the job of an employer "perform investigations" of government issued ID.  If a prospective employee presents a legitimate looking social security card, or driver's license or passport, or "green card", the employer has to accept that as proof of their identity and/or citizenship, and/or their right to work in this country.  

    If a document is obviously false, or has obviously been tampered with, that's one thing.  But you don't get to pick and choose, as an employer, whose government issued ID you will accept and whose you will question, just because you have a hunch.  

    'The votes are in, and we won.' - Jim Webb, 11/07/2006

    by lcork on Mon Jul 26, 2010 at 11:44:20 AM PDT

  •  Up until three years ago (0+ / 0-)

    I worked in IT for an insurance company. We had to design the computer systems to be able to handle people working under other people's SS numbers when both people were in our database. There were plenty of them. For our purposes, which were  just to uniquely identify people, we assigned them dummy numbers in the "999-xx-xxxx" range. We could have easily reported this to someone, but it was not considered any of our business and we had to just work around it.

    Perhaps this will change in the future, but no one seems to care if you pay money into SS under a bogus number. If you're paying in under a real worker's number and no one catches it, they may get a higher benefit than they would have, so maybe some people knowingly allow their numbers to be used this way. Other than that I don't know where they get the numbers from.

    The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt. --Bertrand Russell

    by denise b on Mon Jul 26, 2010 at 12:01:02 PM PDT

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