Heritage: CBO Report on Immigration Bill Confirms Amnesty Concerns

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Immigration Bill

The Heritage Foundation issued a preliminary response to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) and Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) report on the costs of the Senate Immigration bill late Tuesday, noting that the CBO and JCT report confirms several financial concerns about an amnesty plan.

Derrick Morgan, Heritage’s vice president for domestic and economic policy, wrote that while Heritage is still analyzing the findings of the CBO and JCT report, “already a few items stand out as noteworthy.”

First, Morgan points to the report’s calculation that this bill would only reduce illegal immigration by about 25 percent, something Morgan asserted is “in sharp contrast to the rhetoric of the bill’s sponsors.” 

“CBO reports that S. 744 would have only a marginal impact in reducing future illegal immigration,” Morgan wrote, then delved into the numbers behind the claim: 

According to CBO, S.744 would reduce the future inflow of illegal immigrants into the U.S. over the next two decades by only 25 percent. CBO estimates that by 2033, 7.5 million new illegal immigrants will have entered the U.S. and taken up residence. The Heritage Foundation’s Robert Rector estimates that these new illegal immigrants could cost the taxpayers (federal, state, and local) some $400 billion over 20 years.

In addition, Morgan covered the concerns the CBO and JCT report contain about American workers' wages and jobs. “Congress should pass only immigration reform measures that are good for American workers,” he wrote. “The economic goal should be increased after-tax income for those in the United States lawfully. This bill appears to fail that test in the years following enactment, since per capita gross national product (GNP) would be lower in the bill all the way out past 2030.”

With regard to costs and effects on the national deficit, Morgan wrote that the CBO and JCT report “does little to assuage concern that the amnesty portion of the bill would be very costly to U.S. taxpayers.”

As Breitbart News has previously detailed, the report calculated that the amnesty bill would decrease the federal deficit by about $175 billion over the first 10 years and by another $700 billion over the next 10 years after that.

Morgan objected that those estimates do not take everything into account. “It provides only a look at the first 10 years in any real detail,” Morgan wrote. “(It includes only a sketch of the second 10 years.)”

In addition, Morgan pointed to a Heritage report from about a week ago, before the report came out, that argued "the most significant costs during the lifetime of would-be legalized immigrants are during their retirement years after they qualify for Medicare and Social Security."

“For the vast majority of unlawful immigrants, that is well past the 10-year budget window,” the previous report asserted.

Heritage is planning an event on Wednesday at which its staff and an economist for the Senate Budget Committee GOP staff will further discuss the CBO and JCT report. 


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