WASHINGTON - The issue of Social Security has become part of the fractious U.S. congressional debate over immigration reform, USA Today reported Thursday.
One of the elements of the bill before the U.S. Senate would allow some of an estimated 12 million illegal immigrants to collect benefits once they have completed certain obligations.
That prompted Shannon Benton of the Senior Citizens League to tell a House subcommittee last week the additional obligations would "result in significant damage to the already strained Social Security trust fund," the report said.
However, Social Security Administration spokesman Patrick O'Carroll told USA Today the exact opposite is true, as the taxes newcomers pay in are a "net plus."
In addition, O'Carroll said as of 2004, the most recent year for which figures are available, Social Security was holding $8 million in a "suspense fund," money collected from people whose names and Social Security numbers didn't match government records, USA Today said.
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