Email Petition: No Social Security for Illegal Immigrants
SUMMARY: Email petition addressed to President Obama (and President Bush before him) advocates a citizenship requirement for anyone receiving Social Security benefits or other government services.
Description: Email petition
Circulating since: May 2006
Status: Inaccurate / Ineffective (see comments below)
Email contributed by James M., Feb. 24, 2009:
FW: Social Security Changes
Email contributed by S. Foster, July 7, 2006:
PETITION TO REQUIRE CITIZENSHIP
Email contributed by Skip, June 3, 2006:
Please sign the petition. Thanks.
PETITION FOR PRESIDENT BUSH, Gov. Swartzenegger and Congressman Dana Rohrbacher
[124 names deleted]
If you don't forward the petition and just stop it, we will lose all these names. If you do not want to sign it, please forward it to everyone you know. Thank you!!! To add your name, click on "forward". (If you Copy & Paste, It will keep it clean.) You will be able to add your name at the bottom of the list and then forward it to your friends. THE 2,000TH PERSON SEND IT ON TO THE FOLLOWING E-MAIL ADDRESS: _President@WhiteHouse.gov_ and to Gov. Arnold Swartzenagger, and Congressman Dana Rohrbacher, Sacramento, California
Comments: There's nothing wrong with wanting to let your elected representatives know how you feel about important issues. There are, however, far better ways to go about it than signing an email petition.
It doesn't hurt to know what you're talking about, either.
The U.S. Senate has not I repeat, not voted to grant Social Security benefits to illegal immigrants. Back in 2006, the Senate did consider, and then dropped, an amendment to the immigration reform bill (S. 2611) which would have prohibited formerly undocumented workers from accruing benefits based on Social Security contributions they made before attaining legal status. Despite the fact that the tabling of this provision was reported in some quarters as "Senate grants Social Security benefits to illegal aliens," it did not, in fact, have that effect. Federal law still prohibits paying Social Security benefits to illegal immigrants.
In any case, adding one's name to an email petition and haphazardly forwarding it out into cyberspace is, at best, a pointless gesture. Essentially, it's a glorified chain letter with only a very slight chance of ever reaching, let alone convincing, the elected official(s) to whom it's addressed.
If you really want to make your opinions known and especially if you want them to count it's much, much more effective to send personal messages directly to the parties concerned, whether they be your Congressional representatives, heads of government agencies, or the President himself.
Update: At least one variant of this petition is prefaced with the bogus claim that Latino immigrants are set to demand that all public facilities in the U.S. be staffed by people who speak Spanish. I could find no evidence whatsoever to corroborate this claim, nor is it clear what connection it could possibly have to immigrants' eligibility for social services.
Sources and further reading:
Illegal Immigrants and Social Security
San Diego Union Tribune, 10 April 2005
Illegal Immigrants Are Bolstering Social Security with Millions
New York Times, 5 April 2005
Immigration Bill Advances in Senate
New York Times, 24 May 2006
Many Illegal Immigrants Pay Up at Tax Time
Associated Press, 11 April 2008
Last updated: 03/04/09