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Unformatted text preview: 1 John T. Stirrup Jr., the sponsor of the new immigration policy, is a firm believer that illegal immigrants are the ones to blame for the “economic hardship” and “lawlessness” in Prince William county. (Hounding Immigrants). Economic hardship? Before coming to this conclusion, it might be a good idea to consider the possibility that illegal immigrants are helping our economy. It wasn’t until I got first hand experience in the landscaping/construction industry that I realized how much we depend on undocumented workers. I interned with a major landscaping company in the D.C. area last summer. The company’s revenue surpasses twenty five million dollars a year, making most of it from installing landscapes for new construction, like housing developments and office parks. What I noticed after the first day was that 98 percent of the crews were from either Mexico or different parts of Central America. Most of whom had a 5 word English vocabulary, and after a wink from a couple of the American supervisors I knew most of these workers crossed the border illegally in hopes of living the American dream. This major landscaping company, along with many other construction companies, is completely dependant on undocumented workers. One call to the INS, and most of these companies would not be able to survive. The thing is that, by law, as long as the employer does not ask if the applicants are here illegally, then the company is not liable if they do turn out to be caught by the INS. All the company has to do is make sure their application is completely filled out, and not ask any questions. So what about a social security number and green card? According to Eduardo Porter of the New York Times, a fake ID package which includes a green card and a Social Security card can be bought on practically any corner of an immigrant neighborhood in California (Porter). Now that these workers are “legally” working, they are also legally taxed. What most people don’t take into consideration and of course Mr. Stirrup, is that undocumented workers contribute a substantial amount to Social Security and Medicare. According to Porter, when the Social Security Administration receives W-2 earnings reports with fictitious Social Security numbers they are put in an “earnings suspense file”. So far in this decade, the file grows more than $50 billion a year (Porter). This number is obviously substantial, but what makes this number have an even bigger impact is that this money can never be given back to the workers who paid it, it will never be collected. Stephen C. Goss, who is the Social Security’s chief actuary, stated that “without the flow of payroll taxes from wages in the suspense file, the system’s long-term funding hole over 75 years would be 10 percent deeper....
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- Summer '08
- English, Immigration to the United States, Illegal immigration to the United States, John T. Stirrup Jr.