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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)

Example #1:
Email contributed by James M., Feb. 24, 2009:

FW: Social Security Changes


It does not matter if you personally like or dislike Obama. You need to sign this petition and flood his e-mail box with e-mails that tell him that, even if the House passes this bill, he needs to veto it. It is already impossible to live on Social Security alone. If the government gives benefits to 'illegal' aliens who have never contributed, where does that leave those of us who have paid into Social Security all our working lives?

As stated below, the Senate voted this week to allow 'illegal' aliens access to Social Security benefits.

Attached is an opportunity to sign a petition that requires citizenship for eligibility to that social service.

Instructions are below. 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 just forward it to everyone you know.

Thank you!

To add your name, click on 'forward'. Address it to all of your email correspondents, add your name to the list and send it on.

When the petition hits 1,000, send it to comment@whitehouse.gov

PETITION for President Obama:

Dear Mr. President:
We, the undersigned, protest the bill that the Senate voted on recently which would allow illegal aliens to access our Social Security. We demand that you and all Congressional representatives require citizenship as a pre-requisite for social services in theUnited States.

We further demand that there not be any amnesty give n to illegal aliens, NO free services, no funding, no payments to and for illegal immigrants

Example #2:
Email contributed by S. Foster, July 7, 2006:


Had an interesting conversation with a lady of Hispanic origin last week. She told me that she planned to come down to St. Mary's and get a job in Admissions (where I work). When I pointed out that we didn't have any openings she advised me that "soon" current employees will have to be fired to hire bi-lingual employees. According to this lady, the Spanish speaking people of the US are going to demand that all public facilities - like hospitals, courthouses, etc. - be staffed by people who read, speak and comprehend Spanish.

We hear about the silent majority but I think we are going to have to speak up or find ourselves a conquered country. That would be an interesting historical note - greatest land in the world conquered by Mexico without ever firing a shot! Think about it.

Petition to Require citizenship to be eligible for social services in the United States. No amnesty and No free services for illegal immigrants. Agree or Delete: Instructions to sign are at the bottom.

United States President George W. Bush,
California Gov. Arnold Swartzenegger and
Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano

Example #3:
Email contributed by Skip, June 3, 2006:

Please sign the petition. Thanks.

This is a petition to require citizenship to be eligible for social security in the United States. No amnesty and No free services for illegal immigrants. Agree or Delete: Instructions to sign are at the bottom.

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.

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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

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