“In a boost for proponents of comprehensive immigration reform, a new report from the Congressional Budget Office estimates that the immigration bill currently being debated in the Senate would increase the U.S. population by 10.4 million and would decrease federal budget deficits by $197 billion between 2014 and 2023.
The much-anticipated report indicates that enacting the legislation would create new federal outlays of about $262 billion in the first decade but would increase revenues – largely from new income and payroll taxes – by $459 billion.”
One would think that newly legalized immigrants would be eligible for benefits that they could not collect before, and the overall burden on the welfare state would increase. But it appears that illegal immigrants are not as impoverished as we are lead to believe.
This definitely changes the debate over the immigration bill. Over the past few weeks its passage has seemed doubtful and it looked as if the differences between the House and the Senate were too big to overcome. But with this data Senate Republicans that support this bill, like Marco Rubio and John McCain, can bolster their case to their more conservative colleagues by saying that this bill is fiscally conservative.
It is clear that our immigration system is broken. And as much as we may not like illegal immigration, there’s no way we’re going to deport 11 million people. But there is a way to secure our borders and deal with the undocumented people that are within them. The thing Republicans have to realize is that they lost the election, so it’s only natural the bill that’s going to emerge is not their idea of a perfect bill. That’s the way things work in Washington.
So while the border security provisions are lacking to say the least, there’s no reason to through the baby (or 11 million people) out with the bath water.