Many Illegal immigrants pay taxes they'll likely never see again - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Many Illegal immigrants pay taxes they'll likely never see again

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PASCO, Wash. --   While there is a misconception illegal immigrants don't pay taxes, new figures released from the social security administration show otherwise. 

Social Security officials keep a record of wages that do not match up with real names and numbers in their system. The record is called the earnings suspense file.  Most of the taxes taken out, will likely never be returned to these workers in the future.

In 2009, the last year for which figures are available, employers reported wages of $72.8 billion for 7.7 million workers who could not be matched to legal Social Security numbers.

That total hit a record $90.4 billion, earned by 10.8 million workers, in 2007, just before the recession. Some of those were legal workers who simply made paperwork mistakes, but the majority are believed to be illegal immigrants.

Because those wages were reported by employers and not paid under the table, Social Security and Medicare deductions had to be made. A total of 12.4 percent of those wages went into the SSA system - 6.2 percent paid each by the worker and the employer. An additional 2.9 percent was paid into Medicare, half by the worker and half by the employer.

That means about $11.2 billion went into the Social Security Trust Fund in 2007, and $2.6 billion went into Medicare. While that money will be used to pay retirees and health-care beneficiaries, it most likely will never be claimed by the illegal immigrants who contributed it.

Tom Roach, an immigration attorney from Pasco says, "Every time you hear someone say, these guys are just here on a free ride, they take, take take and don't give back, it's not true.  72% are paying all of the taxes, that any other US citizen would pay, but they don't get the benefit of getting any of it back."

Roach says illegal immigrants contribute to our economy in many ways, paying sales taxes, the FICA  tax, social security,  medicare and property taxes.

He tells me illegals are not eligible to receive benefits like medicare and food stamps because you need a valid social security number to apply.  However, some argue it evens out when children of illegals attend schools and visit emergency rooms.

~ information taken from By John Lantigua, Cox Newspapers