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TREA Senior Citizens League announced last week that after numerous refusals over three and a half years, the Social Security Administration finally released the first known public the U.S.-Mexico Social Security Totalization Agreement. The Social Security Administration was forced to make the disclosure in response to lawsuits filed under the Freedom of Information Act by the League, a nonpartisan seniors' advocacy group. The agreement between the United States and Mexico was signed in June 2004, and awaits President Bush's signature. If signed by President Bush, the Social Security Agreement Totalization agreement will automatically go into effect after 60 days unless either House of Congress votes to reject it.

The U.S.-Mexico Totalization agreement has become controversial because it could allow millions of illegal aliens from Mexico to draw billions of dollars from the U.S. Social Security Trust Fund, creating huge new pressures on the Social Security program itself. Currently, federal law does not bar wages submitted for illegal work from counting towards social security benefits. Thus, if an illegal alien worker in the United States today gets a "work authorized" Social Security number through the Totalization Agreement, that worker would be able claim credit for work performed legally or illegally. The same would happen if Congress adopts a guest worker program to legalize the millions of illegal aliens currently in the country.


According to TREA, the Social Security Administration expects the Social Security Trust Fund to pay out more than it accrues by year 2017 and to be exhausted by 2040. "The Social Security Administration itself warns that Social Security is within decades of bankruptcy--yet, they seem to have no problem making agreements that hasten its demise," said the Chairman of the Senior Citizens League, Ralph McCutchen.

Senators Ensign (R-NW), Inhofe (R-OK), Sessions (R-AL), and Thomas (R-WY) have introduced legislation (S. 43) that will change current law to treat all Totalization Agreements as bilateral trade agreements. This means both houses of Congress would be required to pass a resolution approving a Totalization Agreement before it could into effect, instead of the agreement automatically going into effect unless either house of Congress passes a resolution rejecting it. If passed before the U.S.-Mexico Totalization Agreement is signed and goes into effect, this legislation would also require the U.S.-Mexico Totalization to be approved by both the House and Senate. FAIR strongly supports this legislation.

Source:  Federation For American Immigration Reform