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Press Release

For Immediate Release
Friday, August 29, 2008

No Social Security Benefits for Illegal Immigrants, Says Bob Barr

Calls on Congress to Scuttle Secret Pact with Mexico

“Much of Washington’s most important work is conducted behind closed doors," says Libertarian Party presidential candidate Bob Barr. "As was the so-called Social Security ‘totalization agreement’ reached between the U.S. and Mexico, which would make hundreds of thousands of Mexican citizens eligible for Social Security."

Barr says the plan combines time worked in both the U.S. and Mexico to establish eligibility for Social Security.  "A Mexican citizen could work as little as 18 months in the U.S. and still qualify for a lifetime of Social Security benefits,” Barr explains.

In theory, Americans also would benefit, since in comparable circumstances they would qualify for Mexican benefits; however, Barr says in practice, "the money runs mostly one way." 

The administration admits that costs would initially average more than $100 million annually, an amount Bush officials term ‘negligible.’  "Only in Washington is $100 million not worth counting!" exclaims Barr.

The cost could hit $1 billion annually by 2050, though Barr notes that the government often lowballs its figures, as was the case with President Bush's costly Prescription Drug Bill. Barr says the last thing the U.S. needs is "to increase Social Security spending when the system is already trillions of dollars out of fiscal balance."

The U.S. has made similar pacts with advanced industrialized countries, but in those cases, the payments back-and-forth are more likely to even out.  "Not in this case," explains Barr; "especially since even those working in America illegally would be eligible to collect from American taxpayers. The Bush administration signed the agreement more than four years ago, but has been afraid to send it to Congress."

Barr says Congress shouldn’t wait for the executive.  Instead, Barr says it should pass pending legislation to formally disapprove the agreement. "It’s sad that we have to remind the administration, after it racked up a $400 billion deficit this year alone, of the importance of saving money,” observes Barr.

“This presidential election has been dominated by symbolic gestures and trivial arguments," Barr says. "Candidates seem to think that voters are worried about which candidate owns which home, and which candidate wears which pin. Yet America faces critical challenges at home and abroad.  Only Bob Barr and the Libertarian Party are running an issues-oriented campaign and talking about bringing genuine change to Washington."

"If the American people are tired of the status quo, their only hope for change is to vote against the status quo,” says Barr. 

Libertarian Party presidential candidate Bob Barr represented the 7th District of Georgia in the U. S. House of Representatives from 1995 to 2003.

The Libertarian Party is America's third largest political party, founded in 1971 as an alternative to the two main political parties.  You can find more information on the Libertarian Party by visiting www.LP.org. The Libertarian Party proudly stands for smaller government, lower taxes and more freedom.