On Tuesday, Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee, said that the immigration reform bill currently making its way through Congress is “the biggest setback for poor and middle-class Americans of any legislation Congress has considered in decades.” The Congressional Budget Office scored the immigration bill today and found that over the first decade of its implementation, the bill would save some $197 billion, but stop only 25 percent of illegal immigration. Sessions pointed out, however, that the CBO’s estimate was far off the mark, relying “on the same scoring gimmicks used by the Obamacare drafters to conceal its true cost from taxpayers and to manipulate the CBO score. There is a reason by eligibility for the most expensive federal benefits was largely delayed outside the 10-year scoring window: to mislead the public.”
Sessions had requested a long-term score from the CBO, but the CBO did not provide one. Sessions said that thanks to the lack of long-term scoring, the score “effectively conceals some of the biggest long-term costs to taxpayers contained in this legislation, including providing illegal immigrants with Medicaid, food stamps, and cash welfare …. For every dollar a low-income illegal immigrant might pay in either taxes or payroll contributions, he or she could easily receive two dollars back from the government in the form of public assistance for their household. It defies logic and common sense for anyone to suggest there is not an enormous cost in choosing to provide welfare to those who are currently not eligible for these benefits.”
The CBO score also does not take into account state and local costs of the immigration plan, or the lost wages due to the increase in number of guest workers. Sessions concluded, “This bill guarantees three things: amnesty, increased welfare costs, and lower wages for the U.S. workforce.”
Ben Shapiro is Editor-At-Large of Breitbart News and author of the New York Times bestseller “Bullies: How the Left’s Culture of Fear and Intimidation Silences America” (Threshold Editions, January 8, 2013).