This week the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released a cost estimate of the proposed immigration reform bill, S.744 Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act, and reported that the passage of the bill would spur economic growth throughout the United States. The CBO, in conjunction with the Joint Committee on Taxation, based their projections on the Senate Committee’s proposed bill and the impact the bill would have on the federal budget for the years 2014 through 2023.
The report stated that the passage of S.744 would increase federal direct spending by $262 billion, increase federal revenues by $459 billion, and decrease the federal budget deficit by $197 billion. Going beyond the ten year estimate, the CBO reported that the net increase in the United States population would be about 16 million by 2033 and the overall decrease in the federal budget deficit would amount to about $700 billion from 2023-2033.
In general, the proposed bill would revise the laws concerning immigration regulation and enforcement and would allow for an increased number of foreign nationals to lawfully enter the United States. The bill would also create a process that would give the many unauthorized foreign nationals currently living United States a path to eventual citizenship. The CBO estimated that if S.744 is enacted, the population of the United States would have a net increase of 10.4 million people and that 8 million unauthorized residents would gain legal status by 2023.
Immigration reform advocates are pleased with the CBO’s findings and hope that this report will help convince opponents of S.744 of the bill’s importance to the future of the United States economy.