Entries in iIllegal Immigrants (3)


Immigration May Help Fund Medicare

Ingram Publishing/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- If you're growing old and depending on Medicare, you have someone to thank for keeping the system afloat: Immigrants, including those who entered the country illegally.

A Harvard Medical School study published on Wednesday found that immigrants generated a $13.8 billion surplus in the Medicare system in 2009. That's means they put a lot more into the system than they took out. Meanwhile, people born in the U.S. accounted for a $30.9 billion deficit.

The biggest reason immigrants are able to keep the system alive is because they're more likely to be of working age and part of the labor force. Of all immigrants in the U.S., 80 percent are between the ages of 18-64, versus 59 percent of the U.S.-born population, according to 2010 census data.

You generally have to be 65 years of age or older to receive Medicaid. There are a lot more native-born people than immigrants eligible for the federal healthcare program, so that means immigrants are less likely to be a drain.

Non-citizens specifically play an outsized role in paying our national Medicare bills.

Legal immigrants contribute to the system through payroll taxes, using valid Social Security numbers.

But undocumented immigrants also add to the coffers, some using other people's socials. Since undocumented immigrants can't receive Medicare, they could be paying for a service they'll never use.

Even when immigrants do use Medicare, they tend to use fewer services than people born in the U.S., according to the report.

All of this is a pretty big deal. Medicare makes up a fifth of all annual healthcare expenditures in the U.S., and politicians are constantly warning that system might fail as our population continues to grow older.

An immigration reform bill that's heading to the Senate floor in early June would create a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants. If a bill like that passes, millions of people could become eligible to use Medicare who were previously barred.

Still, immigrants would probably continue to underwrite the Medicare system, the report found. Since immigrants tend to be younger, if the country keeps bringing in immigrant workers, they'll likely keep adding more to that system.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Rick Perry on In-State Tuition for Illegal Immigrants: “It’s No Free Ride”

Tom Williams/Roll Call(ORANGE CITY, IOWA) -- Making his second stop in western Iowa, Rep. Texas Governor Rick Perry was confronted by a voter with questions about his immigration policy after a speech at the Blue Mountain Culinary Emporium in Orange City.

Fae Groff-Moritz from Remsen, Iowa, asked the governor to explain what exactly in-state tuition rates for illegal immigrants in Texas means.

“It’s not a free ride. Because the border has been porous, we have to deal with this issue as a governor of a state and the state has to deal with it,” Perry said.

“At that particular point in time, we have to make a decision. Are we going to have tax wasters or tax payers?” Perry said about the legislation.

Perry noted that the Texas legislature nearly unanimously passed the in-state tuition for illegal immigrants legislation in 2001.

“They had to pursue citizenship. At that particular point in time they would become taxpayers and be part of the skilled workforce. If they didn’t, the state was probably going to pick up the cost of a substantial number of them because they’re unskilled. If anyone moves to the state of Texas and spends three years there, they’re eligible for in-state tuition so no free ride,” Perry said.

“It sounded like it when you were talking on TV,” Groff-Moritz said.

“Yes ma’am, sometimes in a one minute soundbite it’s hard to get all of that in,” Perry responded.

During the question and answer portion of his speech in Orange City, Perry expressed his commitment to freeing up the energy sector from over regulation to ensure the country thrives as an energy-independent country.

“We have to have a president who is committed to making this country as independent on the side of domestic energy as we can, and I understand that and I’m going to commit to that,” Perry said. “I want to be the president of the United States that oversees the revival of the domestic energy industry in this country.”

Perry was asked if he had an alternative to Herman Cain’s 9-9-9 plan. The Texas governor praised Cain for developing a plan that resonates with voters, though he expressed concern about whether the plan would work.

“I think Herman has done a very successful job of penetrating through so people understand what 9-9-9 means. I think we’re all taking a look at that now and seeing what does it really mean to the country.”

An attendee asked Perry to name a few books that have influenced his thinking, and Perry cited Friedrich Hayek for informing him about economics and shedding light that Keynesian theories do not work. A spokesman for Perry said the book he was referencing was “Road to Serfdom.”

After the speech, Perry worked the crowd, explaining the need to reform Social Security to a group of high schoolers, wishing David Vogel of Orange City a happy 18th birthday, and sharing with a professor his learning experience in Texas.

“Being the governor of the state of Texas, there hasn’t been a day go by that I haven’t learned something,” Perry said.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


McCain's Office Attempts to Clarify Comments on Wildfires

ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- In comments made over the weekend, Sen. John McCain, R-AZ, blamed illegal immigrants for the wildfires that have raged across his state of Arizona.

"There is substantial evidence that some of these fires have been caused by people who have crossed our border illegally," McCain said Saturday at a press conference. "The answer to that part of the problem is to get a secure border."

The Senator from Arizona’s comments set off a wildfire of their own, as the Wallow fire blazes across his state across 500,000 miles.

A forest service spokesman on the Wallow fire in Arizona says there's no evidence that this specific fire was caused by immigrants.

"There's no evidence that I'm aware, no evidence that's been public, indicating such a thing," said Tom Berglund, spokesman for the federal group managing the Wallow fire.

Latino groups are angered at McCain for "fanning the flames of intolerance."

McCain’s office pushed back on Monday, emphasizing that the Senator said “some” wildfires are started this way – not all, and that he was speaking about other fires, not the Wallow fire.

“The facts are clear. For years, federal, state and local officials have stated that smugglers and illegal immigrants have caused fires on our southern border,” Brooke Buchanan, communications director for McCain said in a statement. “During the press conference on Saturday, Senator McCain was referring to fires on the Arizona/Mexico border, not the Wallow Fire.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio