CBO sees savings of $135 billion in Senate immigration bill

By Derrick Cain

© Copyright Agri-Pulse Communications, Inc.



WASHINGTON, July 3, 2013 - Enactment of the Senate-passed immigration reform bill (S. 744) would lead to an estimated net savings of about $135 billion over a 10-year period, according to a scoring analysis released today by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) and the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT).

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The bill, which aims to create a system for undocumented farm and non-farm workers to gain legal status, would generate changes in direct spending and revenues that would decrease federal deficit budgets by an estimated $158 billion over a 10-year period, according to the analysis.

CBO also estimated implementing the legislation would result in net discretionary costs of $23 billion.

“However, the net impact of the legislation on federal deficits would depend on future actions by lawmakers, who could choose to appropriate more or less than the amounts estimated by CBO,” the analysis said.

CBO estimated that, by 2023, enactment would lead to a net increase of 9.6 million in the total number of people residing in the United States, compared with the number of people projected under current law.

“The resulting increase in the number of legal residents would boost direct spending for federal benefit programs; direct spending for enforcement and other purposes would also rise,” the analysis said.

However, federal revenues would be higher as well, mostly because of the larger size of the labor force.

The Senate approved the bill with a bipartisan 68-32 vote on June 27.

The bill would create a new “blue card” program for experienced farm workers, and a new version of the current agricultural worker visa program.

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