New York Times Examines Social Consequences of Aging Immigrant Population
The New York Times on Thursday examined concern among analysts and policymakers in the U.S. and Mexico about "[w]hat will happen when the 10 million Mexicans living in the United States become too old to work." According to the Times, an estimated 710,000 Mexicans over age 60 lived in the U.S. in 2003, and that number is expected to "swell for the current generation of illegal immigrants."
Because many of the Mexicans currently living and working in the U.S. are undocumented, they generally are not entitled to any benefits under Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid. As these immigrants reach the age at which they can no longer work, they will be forced to choose whether they wish to stay in the U.S. or retire in Mexico, choices that pose serious challenges to the social infrastructure of both countries, the Times reports.
According to the Times, Mexico -- which already has an aging population and "virtually no public system of social security or health insurance" -- is not prepared to "cope with millions of returning immigrants who spent their working lives in the United States."
Roberto Suro, director of the Pew Hispanic Center, said, "If all these people that came here are going to stay, then there is a question of what will be the social cost" (Porter/Malkin, New York Times, 8/4).