Nearly 700,000 Illegal Immigrants Could Collect Social Security by 2055

March 11, 2015 Updated: March 11, 2015

As a result of president Obama’s deferred action programs created in November, illegal immigrants will be granted quasi-legal status that allows them to pay taxes and collect Social Security benefits.

The president created deferred action programs in November that would shield 5 million illegal immigrants from deportation, blaming Republican intransigence for his administrative action, which some have labeled unconstitutional.

The number of illegal immigrants collecting Old-Age, Survivor’s, and Disability Insurance (OASDI) benefits will exceed one thousand by 2017, and will gradually increase to a peak of 695,000 by 2055, according to Stephen Goss, chief actuary of the Social Security Administration.

Goss estimates that Obama’s immigration policy will increase net revenue for Social Security from 2015 through 2045, and decrease it from 2046 to 2082.

The temporary increase is a result of “providing legal work authorization to many younger children and their parents in the current population, who will pay additional taxes for several decades,” Goss wrote in a letter to Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) in February.

In 2013, the Congressional Budget Office estimated that the 2013 Senate immigration reform bill, which would create a pathway to citizenship for the country’s 11 million illegal immigrants, would reduce federal deficits by $200 billion by 2023, primarily because of their youthful demographic.

The fiscal effects of president Obama’s deferred action programs are likely to be smaller, as it would only shield an estimated 5 million illegal immigrants from deportation and encourage them to pay taxes and retrieve welfare benefits as a result.

How, over the course a lifetime, the fiscal impacts of the president’s deferred action programs are likely to be negative, as the typical illegal immigrant lacks secondary education and earn incomes below the national average.

The Heritage Foundation found in a 2013 study that the Senate immigration reform bill would cost American taxpayers $6.3 trillion dollars over 50 years. Robert Rector, the author of the report, estimates that Obama’s deferred action programs will cost taxpayers $2 trillion over 50 years.

The Congressional Budget Office itself has refused to make assess the impacts of immigration reform beyond a 20-year horizon, citing that “Ascertaining the effects of immigration policies on the economy and the federal budget is complicated and highly uncertain.”

Currently, the president’s expansion of deferred action programs is in limbo after a federal judge issued an injunction halting the expansion until a lawsuit against the administration was settled. In November, Texas and two dozen other states sued the Obama administration for harms caused by the deferred action programs, which they argue is illegal.