As the new Congress will wrestle with many issues, including Social Security and how to deal with the millions of illegal immigrants in the United States, I have chosen to co-sponsor, with my good friend from Texas, Mr. Carter, a bill which will close a loophole in the Social Security law which actually encourages illegal immigration.

The bill, H.R. 332, prohibits the Social Security Administration from paying out benefits for unauthorized work in the United States by illegal immigrants.

Currently, a person obtaining American citizenships is allowed the full benefits resulting from ALL wages he has earned. This means an immigrant authorized to be, as well as work, the United States who becomes a citizen is entitled to what they are owed by SSA for their full time in the U.S. This is how it should be, and this is how we should be welcoming to those who come here from different lands, follow our laws, and choose to become American.

However, as we move forward in the immigration debate, there will be discussion of some sort of amnesty (no matter what the official term is) which will give a person who is here illegally the opportunity for citizenship. This is where the issue lies. Unless the SSA law is changed, then the benefits due to be paid for immigrant workers will also be paid to those who are living and working ILLEGALLY in the United States.

There is no provision in current law to differentiate between SSA benefits earned by legal and illegal immigrants. H.R. 332 is designed to close the loophole in the law that will give the same benefits to unauthorized work done by an illegal immigrant and a legal immigrant who followed the rules and worked hard for the American Dream.