Many of you have heard the story about my parents. They came to America in 1949 looking for opportunity and liberty. But to get here, they had to apply for immigration. They had to have a sponsor, a job, and a place to live lined up before they could come here.
Once they got to the United States, they were responsible for learning English, on their own. They did all these things because they saw coming to America as a privilege, not an entitlement. My parents became American citizens at the first opportunity.
A couple of key reasons why my dad wanted to come to this country were so that he could live and work where he wanted without first seeking the permission of the government. In fact, he started his own business and relocated several times.
As a self-employed citizen, my dad paid into the Social Security system. He knew that, meager as it might be, he was paying into a program that would provide part of his retirement and a minimal safety net for my mom to lean on should he precede her in death. In fact, my dad did pass away eighteen years before my mom.
Social Security benefits were there for her. They helped, along with a small nest-egg my dad had built, to provide for her until her passing. I don’t think my dad would have been pleased to find out that Carl Levin voted to continue providing Social Security benefits to illegal immigrants.