Eviscerating the false and bigoted FOXNews/Republican narrative that immigrants are using all our social safety net systems and not contributing to federal coffers as much as the “native” population, a new study by researchers at Harvard Medical School has found that immigrants have contributed billions of dollars more to Medicare in recent years than the program has paid out on their behalf. The study also found that the American-born population incurred a deficit of $28 billion dollars over the same period.
According to the new research, immigrants have contributed a staggering surplus of $115 billion to the Medicare fund in just seven years, from 2002 to 2009.
These findings are sure to confuse viewers of FOXNews that have, for decades, been fed the false narrative that immigrants are a drain on federal healthcare spending.
These findings support what President Obama and Democrats have been trying to tell Republicans and Tea Partiers for years: Immigrants are integral to the success and economy of America, providing an infusion of young, able-bodied adults who support the country’s aging baby boomer population and help cover the rising costs of Medicare and Social Security.
The median age of immigrant Hispanic’s is only 27 years old, while the median age of non-Hispanic whites in the United States is 42.
According to experts, this extra financial help from immigrants is more necessary today than at any other time since the implementation of these successful government programs.
The study, which was drawn from two nationally represented federal surveys, included the contributions to the social welfare programs from illegal residents who are not citizens as well as undocumented immigrants.
Another important little-known fact, especially in the conservative echo chamber, is that undocumented immigrants who are here illegally pay several taxes and are ineligible for most government assistance programs.
“There’s this strong belief that immigrants are takers,” said Leighton Ku, the director of the Center for Health Policy Research at George Washington University. “This shows they are contributing hugely. Without immigrants, the Medicare trust fund would be in trouble sooner.” The belief prevails, for example, among some opponents of immigration reform.
This timely study comes when immigration reform is being debated on Capitol Hill, and Republican congressmen are making the case that immigrants are a drain on the social safety net and don’t contribute to society as much as American-born citizens.
Of course, they make no mention of the myriad of other benefits that could be derived from taking undocumented workers out of the shadow-economy.
We know how hard undocumented workers and immigrants work in order to give the American dream their best shot; imagine what they would do once they were “freed” into the general economy!
What if the hundreds of thousands of bright international students that come to America’s top schools and earn the best degrees were allowed to stay here and keep their human capital right here in America?
It seems that the GOP’s decade-long refusal to come to the table and solve the immigration issue isn’t so much based purely on sound economics, but on animus, bigotry and hate.
It is imperative that we make some noise about this study and capture the public narrative. America must know the truth about the benefits of immigration reform, especially when our legislators are in the process of debating it.
Watch an excellent report on why immigrants are GOOD for the American economy here: