News / USA

Report: Immigration Reform Would Boost US Economy, Finances

FILE - Senator Robert Menendez
FILE - Senator Robert Menendez
Michael Bowman
— A congressional report estimates that reforming America's immigration system and legalizing 11 million undocumented immigrants would boost U.S. economic growth and shrink the federal deficit.  The report was seized upon by senators debating an overhaul to federal immigration laws.

Legalizing millions of unauthorized immigrants would have an almost entirely positive effect on America’s economic fortunes, according to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office.

The CBO says the immigration reform bill before the Senate would, if implemented, add more than five percent to economic growth and trim deficits by about $900 billion over the next 20 years.

Backers of immigration reform pounced on the news. 

“I have been saying all along that bringing 11 million people out of the shadows and fixing our broken immigration system will increase the gross domestic product and decrease the deficit," said Democratic Senator Robert Menendez. "And now we know by how much."

For months, critics of the Senate bill have argued a sudden surge in America’s legal workforce would depress U.S. wages and overburden the nation’s social safety net, necessitating a boost in government spending.  

In fact, the CBO report does predict a slight initial dampening of U.S. wage growth, but higher wages thereafter.  And it directly contradicts predictions of a net drain of public resources, something Senator Menendez was eager to trumpet.

"The opponents of this legislation could not be more wrong," he said.
Republican Senator Jeff Sessions responded by arguing that the full costs of legalization may extend beyond the 20-year window studied by the CBO. 

Fellow Republican John Cornyn highlighted a different CBO conclusion: that the Senate bill will not end illegal immigration in the United States.

“Despite all the promises, and perhaps I might say the hopes and the dreams and the good intentions of the authors of this underlying bill, this bill will have only a minimal impact on illegal immigration," said Cornyn. "Does that sound like the kind of solution that we owe to the American people to solve this broken system?”

Cornyn is one of several Republicans seeking guarantees of near absolute U.S. border security before any undocumented immigrants could be legalized.   Republican amendments to that end have all been defeated in the Senate.

You May Like

Lebanese Media Unite to Support Palestinians in Gaza

Joint newscast billed as Arab world’s first unified news bulletin in support of Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip More

Photogallery Australian PM Alleges ‘Coverup’ at MH17 Crash Site

Meanwhile, Russia's ambassador to Malaysia denies plane's black boxes were opened before they were handed over to Malaysian officials More

Despite Advances in AIDS Treatment, Stigma Lingers

Leading immunologist tells VOA that stigma is often what prevents those infected with disease from seeking treatment More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Formi
X
July 22, 2014 10:26 AM
Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Chicago’s Argonne Lab Developing Battery of the Future

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science awarded a $120 million grant to a new technology center focused on battery development - headquartered at Argonne National Laboratory in suburban Chicago, Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there scientists are making the next technological breakthroughs in energy storage.
Video

Video In NW Pakistan, Army Offensive Causes Massive Number of Displaced

Pakistan’s army offensive in North Waziristan has resulted in the large-scale displacement of the local population. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from northwest Pakistan where authorities say around 80 percent of the estimated 1 million internally displaced persons [IDPs] have settled in Bannu district, while much of the remaining 20 percent are scattered in nearby cities.
Video

Video Kurdish Peshmerga Force Secures Kirkuk, Its Oil

The Kurdistan regional government has sent its Peshmerga troops into the adjacent province of Kirkuk to drive out insurgents, and to secure the area's rich oil fields. By doing this, the regional government has added a fourth province to the three it officially controls. The oil also provides revenue that could make an independent Kurdistan economically strong. VOA’s Jeffrey Young went out with the Peshmerga and filed this report.
Video

Video Malaysia Reeling: Second Air Disaster in Four Months

Malaysia is reeling from the second air disaster in four months involving the country’s flag carrier. Flight 340 vanished in March and despite an extensive search, no debris has been found. And on Thursday, Flight 17, likely hit by a surface-to-air missile, came apart over eastern Ukraine. The two incidents together have left more than 500 people dead. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Kuala Lumpur.

AppleAndroid