NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Administration Considering Social Security for Mexican Workers

December 20, 2002

The White House is exploring a possible agreement with Mexico that would add thousands of Mexicans working legally in the U.S. to our Social Security system -- making them eligible for millions of dollars in benefits.

  • The U.S. already has existing Social Security pacts with 20 other countries -- ranging from Canada to South Korea.
  • The Social Security Administration pays 994,022 beneficiaries from other countries an average of $162 a month -- for a total of $184 million a year.
  • An agreement with Mexico could add 162,000 beneficiaries in the first five years -- for a total cost of as much as $1 billion a year.
  • Nearly 46 million people currently receive $372 billion per year in Social Security benefits.

Concern is reportedly growing on Capitol Hill that any agreement with Mexico would add a huge burden to the system, which is already facing huge shortfalls in the next 15 to 20 years.

Source: Associated Press, "Mexicans in U.S. Eye Social Security," Washington Times, December 20, 2002.


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