The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) recently made a pretty bold statement. The CBO said that the current immigration reform plan that has been offered by House Democrats would actually reduce the U.S. budget deficit by $900 billion over the next 20 years.
According to its website, the CBO has “produced independent analyses of budgetary and economic issues to support the Congressional budget process” since 1974. The agency is unique because it remains nonpartisan and continues to conduct “objective, impartial analysis.” While it conducts research, the CBO will not make policy recommendations. Meanwhile, each report will discuss the methodologies used and agency assumptions.
The CBO expects that approval of this bill would save the U.S. right around $200 billion in the first ten years and another $700 billion in the next ten years. This estimate is partly based on the assumption that the “legislation would increase the population by some 10 million people in more than a decade, adding another 8 million undocumented immigrants whose status would be legalized.”
House Minority Leader, Nancy Pelosi seems to be on board with these statements. She was quoted as saying that the CBO report "proves that now is truly the time to pass comprehensive immigration reform." In addition, she noted that the proposed legislation is “sensible” and will subsequently “empower our small businesses, spur innovation and create jobs.”
Pelosi went on to say that this immigration reform will allow the current, broken system to come into modern times and that the legislation will secure borders, protect workers, unite families and create “an earned pathway to citizenship.” Pelosi also commented on the fact that Republicans have been dragging their feet as far as immigration reform is concerned. “Enough is enough - and Democrats are demanding a vote,” she said.
Meanwhile, Pelosi received a letter from CBO Executive Director Douglas Elmendorf in which he pretty much repeated an earlier forecast by the CBO related to legislation proposed by the Senate. However, unlike the Senate bill, the House version, H.R. 15, does not include $38 billion to be put towards border security in the first decade.
Of course, all of this may be for nothing. Speaker John Boehner, has already said that he will not bring up the Senate bill, but instead has “laid out immigration principles for a GOP-led effort instead.” These principles will include a path to citizenship for those brought to the U.S. as children without documentation. Another principle involves offering a legal status, but no “special path to citizenship” for immigrants who are undocumented.
What do you think about CBO's estimation regarding immigration reform? Could immigration reform really make such a big dent in the budget deficit? If so, is there really any argument left for Republicans to make in opposition of immigration reform?
When dealing with immigration related issues, it is important to align yourself with an immigration professional. My associates and I have many years of experience working with clients in both Phoenix and Tucson and would be happy to schedule a consultation to discuss your legal matters.