CBO: Senate Bill Won’t Stop Illegal Immigration; Reduces It ‘Between One-Third and One-Half’

July 3, 2013 - 2:42 PM

Sen. Bob Corker

Sen. Bob Corker (R.-Tenn.)

(CNSNews.com) - The Congressional Budget Office and Joint Committee on Taxation on Wednesday published their final analysis of the immigration bill that the U.S. Senate approved in a 68-32 vote last Thursday, concluding that it would only reduce the annual net flow of illegal aliens into the United States by one-third to one-half.

The analysis also said that bill’s full impact in cutting the annual flow of illegal aliens by a third to a half “would take several years” to kick in as the bill’s provision to increase the Border Patrol took effect.

Cutting annual illegal immigration by a third or a half is an improvement from the 25 percent cut in the net flow of illegal aliens that the CBO and JCT estimated would result from the bill that was approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee--before it was amended on the Senate floor to include language proposed by Republican Senators Bob Corker (Tenn.) and John Hoeven (N.D.) that had the specific aim of increasing border security and internal immigration enforcement.

Still, assuming the CBO’s estimate is accurate, the bill would permit the legalization of about 11. 5 million illegal aliens currently in the United States—and eventually put them on a path to U.S. citizenship--while continuing to allow anywhere from a half to two-thirds the current rate of illegal immigration to continue.

“The net inflow of unauthorized residents has two main elements: a flow of people who enter the country without authorization, and a flow of people who enter the country with authorization to stay for a temporary period but stay after that authorization has expired,” the CBO said in a letter to Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy explaining its analysis of the final bill.

“S. 744 as passed would significantly increase border security relative to the committee-approved version of the bill, and it would strengthen enforcement actions against those who stay in the country after their authorization has expired,” said the CBO. “Therefore, CBO expects that, relative to the committee-approved version of S. 744, the Senate-passed act would reduce both illegal entry into the country and the number of people who stay in the country beyond the end of their authorized period.

“CBO estimated that the committee-approved version of S. 744 would reduce the net inflow of unauthorized residents by about one-quarter compared with the projected net inflow under current law,” said CBO. “For the Senate-passed version of S. 744, CBO estimates that the net inflow would be reduced by between one-third and one-half compared with the projected net inflow under current law. That effect would not be immediate, as it would take several years before DHS could hire the full number of Border Patrol agents called for in the act.”