Via the Washington Times:
he administration has granted about 541,000 Social Security numbers to illegal immigrants under President Obama’s original 2012 deportation amnesty for Dreamers, officials told Congress in a letter made public Wednesday.
That means almost all of the illegal immigrants approved for the amnesty are being granted work permits and Social Security numbers, opening the door to government benefits ranging from tax credits to driver’s licenses.
Social Security officials, in the April 10 letter to Sens. Jeff Sessions and Ben Sasse, said they don’t keep track of how many illegal immigrants have been denied numbers, and defended their process for granting the ones they have doled out.
“We will not issue an SSN if an individual has insufficient or unacceptable documentation,” Social Security Commissioner Carolyn W. Colvin said in the letter. “In addition, we will not issue an SSN if [Homeland Security] is unable to verify the individual’s immigration/work authorization status.”
Social Security numbers are considered one of the gatekeepers for being able to live and work in the U.S., and some experts have said granting them to illegal immigrants makes it easier for them to access rights reserved only for citizens, such as voting.
But the Obama administration has ruled that the illegal immigrants it has approved for its temporary deportation amnesty, known as “deferred action,” are here legally for as long as the program exists, and so they are entitled to work permits and Social Security numbers.
Republican critics of the president’s immigration policy say he’s helping illegal immigrants at the expense of American workers, whose taxes pay for Social Security and other government benefits.
“This grant transfers jobs, wealth and benefits from marginalized U.S. workers directly to illegal workers,” said Stephen Miller, a spokesman for Mr. Sessions. “One of the most dramatic costs of amnesty – whether legislative or imposed through executive diktat – is the opening of our federal Trust Funds to large numbers of lower-income illegal immigrants.”
Mr. Obama’s latest amnesty, announced in November, has been halted by a federal court, so no Social Security numbers have been granted under that policy.
But the first amnesty, announced in June 2012 and covering young adult illegal immigrants known as Dreamers, remains in effect, and had approved nearly 639,000 persons as of the end of 2014.
All of those applying for the amnesty are required to apply for a work permit as well, and almost all are approved for that document, which they can then use to obtain a Social Security number. About 541,000 numbers have been granted, or 85 percent. Still others could be in the pipeline, making the actual approval rate somewhat higher.