CBO: Senate immigration bill would cut undocumented flow 33% – 50%
July 3rd, 2013
03:12 PM ET
10 months ago

CBO: Senate immigration bill would cut undocumented flow 33% – 50%

Washington (CNN) – The immigration bill passed by the Senate last week would block between 33% and 50% more undocumented residents from entering the U.S. than current law, according to a new report from the Congressional Budget Office. That's an increase from the CBO's estimate of 25 percent for the original committee version.

It's not clear if that will mollify conservatives who insist any immigration bill must block virtually all illegal border crossings. But, meantime, supporters of reform are quickly celebrating the pre-Independence Day report.

"CBO once again vindicated immigration reform and shows how the amendment process improved the bill," said Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-New York, in a written statement.

The largest amendment in the Senate bill was the Corker-Hoeven plan, which requires a doubling in the number of border patrol agents and billions of dollars in spending on fencing and high-tech security measures before anyone currently in the U.S. illegally can move toward citizenship.

Even after that increased spending, the new CBO report concludes that the Senate bill, as passed, would cut the federal deficit approximately $158 billion dollars in the next ten years. The original Senate Judiciary Committee bill was forecast to save more, $197 billion. Over 20 years, CBO concludes that the bill passed by the Senate would reduce the deficit $685 billion.

The agency calculates that the bill would save money by bringing in more in new taxes and revenues than it would spend in additional security and benefits to newly-authorized residents.

Those large-scale conclusions compete with the effect of the bill on some individual Americans.

Also Wednesday, the Center for Immigration Studies, a think tank which opposes immigration reform, released a report concluding that the Senate immigration bill will lower wages and increase unemployment for current legal American residents. That syncs generally with the previous CBO forecast which predicted that the Senate immigration bill would slightly decrease wages per capita in the U.S. and slightly increase unemployment.

This is what conservatives stress. "The Senate immigration bill massively increases the supply of lower-skill foreign workers, which would producer lower wages and higher unemployment," wrote Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Alabama, in a statement Wednesday.

The immigration debate is now focused on the House of Representatives where Speaker John Boehner, insists that lawmakers will craft their own bill or series of bills, separate from the Senate legislation.


Filed under: Immigration • Senate
soundoff (18 Responses)
  1. Dutch/Bad Newz aka Take Back The House

    If you think our southern border can't be breached 100% of the time, then you're a fool.

    July 3, 2013 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  2. Rudy NYC

    This is what conservatives stress. "The Senate immigration bill massively increases the supply of lower-skill foreign workers, which would producer lower wages and higher unemployment," wrote Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Alabama, in a statement Wednesday.
    ---------------
    We have that already, senator. That has been the status quo for more than three decades. Middle class wages have stagnated for that long, if not longer.

    July 3, 2013 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  3. just sayin

    33-50% cut is not good enough. it is a great improvement but it still needs to be much higher or we will still be back in this mess in a few years with millions more illegals here demanding citizenship after violating our borders and laws to get here. they need to get this right or don't bother doing it. the american people have had enough of this bs.

    July 3, 2013 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  4. California

    Yeah and history has proven that one wrong already.

    TRY AGAIN GOVERNMENT..

    July 3, 2013 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  5. otto

    how can the CBO know how many people will make it over the border until the drones and choppers we are all paying for go into action? That 50% is not based on anything real.

    July 3, 2013 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  6. Rick McDaniel

    Oh great. isn't that fantastic. Instead of 12 million illegals......we would only have 8 million still coming through. What an improvement.

    July 3, 2013 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  7. The Real Tom Paine

    All the GOP is insisting that the border be sealed like a Mason jar: it cannot be done. All this has become is the new Cold War, an excuse for conservatives to throw tax dollars at a project with the sole purpose of keeping their shrinking base energized and voting. No defensive measure is foolproof, yet, in a time of spending cuts, the GOP wants to throw money at an imperfect solution they would have us belive is foolproof. All they are doing is creating an immigration Maginot line that will be breached every day by people who still contribute to our economy and perform jobs that none of us would take. Let's bring the process out of the shadows.

    July 3, 2013 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  8. sonny chapman

    Not good enough. REAL Conservatives live in a world of Absolutes.

    July 3, 2013 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  9. Joeyjojo Shabado

    Part of the problem with this issue is that there are a lot of people who refuse to accept a win when it is handed to them on a silver platter. If you are one of those conservatives who is completely up in arms about immigration you should be absolutely ecstatic about this bill. The CBO estimates it will save almost $700 billion, and cut illegal immigration by 30% to 50% is a huge victory for your side. There is no perfect solution to this or any issue, but not supporting this legislation because it is not perfect only guarantees that the current system will remain in place. This issue is just like the 2011 budget fight, that conservatives had with the president. They refused to compromise even though they were getting 4 to 1 cuts vs revenue, and as a result they extended the current fiscal situation by 1 year and hurt America's credit rating. And after all that the president go reelected and they were forced to accept fewer cuts and more revenue. Some people are to stupid to know when they won.

    July 3, 2013 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  10. California

    Settling for almost good enough gets you just that.

    July 3, 2013 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  11. Italmn

    It doesn't matter !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! they WILL find a way in PERIOD!!!

    July 3, 2013 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  12. smith

    Just build a wall for pete`s sake and use the border patrol to walk the wall to ensure no tunnels are being dug. This would stop the flow in 90 percent rage. This common sense. Anybody this says this can`t be done just doesn`t want it done.

    July 3, 2013 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  13. Rudy NYC

    sonny chapman

    Not good enough. REAL Conservatives live in a world of Absolutes.
    --------------
    Of course, it isn't good enough. What's remarkable about all of it is that conservatives have come up with no solution of their own, not even an unworkable one.

    The only absolutes in the real world are deadly and dangerous. Absolute zero is the coldest COLD. A black hole is an absolute mass. The Republican Party is an absolute mess.

    July 3, 2013 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  14. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes

    " it is a great improvement but it still needs to be much higher or we will still be back in this"
    ----------------------------------------------
    Doing nothing is not a solution, so I will like to know what you suggest we do. As much of a security concern that it is, and I agree that it is, you will not stop every illegal border crossing. It's just plain impossible.

    July 3, 2013 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  15. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes

    When I think of immigration reform, I get taken aback to the movie "The Day After Tomorrow," when the northern part of this country was thrown back into the Ice Age, and people in the southern states were crossing illegally into Mexico. Often life imitates art, so be careful how you treat others.

    July 3, 2013 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  16. Rudy NYC

    Joeyjojo Shabado

    Part of the problem with this issue is that there are a lot of people who refuse to accept a win when it is handed to them on a silver platter. If you are one of those conservatives who is completely up in arms about immigration you should be absolutely ecstatic about this bill. The CBO estimates it will save almost $700 billion, and cut illegal immigration by 30% to 50% is a huge victory for your side. There is no perfect solution to this or any issue, but not supporting this legislation because it is not perfect only guarantees that the current system will remain in place.
    ----------------
    But that's the whole idea, to keep everything just the way it is. Block immigration reform while blaming Democrats for doing nothing to solve it. Projections predict lower salaries, which is probably ideal for businesses.

    July 3, 2013 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  17. Michael Benjamin

    All these projections are meaningless. Fill a room with a bunch of PhD's with computers and this is what one will get. There are holes so big in this legislation that a tractor/trailer could be driven threw them.

    July 3, 2013 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  18. The Real Tom Paine

    -Rick McDaniel

    Oh great. isn't that fantastic. Instead of 12 million illegals......we would only have 8 million still coming through. What an improvement.
    **********************
    Its 4 million fewer than before. What a textbook example of what is wrong with the Right in this country: nothing to offer but negatives.

    July 3, 2013 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |