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

Video Experts Warn World Losing Ebola Fight

Doctors Without Borders says world is losing battle against Ebola, unless wealthy nations dispatch specialized biological disaster response teams More

Video Experts: Rise of Islamic State Significant Development in Jihadism

Many analysts contend the group - which grew out of al-Qaida in Iraq - has been rebuilding for years More

US-Based Hong Kongers Pledge Support for Pro-Democracy Activists

Democracy advocates call on Chinese living abroad to join them in opposing new election rules for their home territory More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearancei
X
Elizabeth Lee
September 02, 2014 8:57 PM
Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Video

Video Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearance

Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Video

Video Experts See Rise of ISIS as Significant Development

The Islamic State’s rise seems sudden. It caught the U.S. by surprise this summer when it captured large portions of northern Iraq and spread its wings in neighboring Syria. But many analysts contend that the group - which grew out of al-Qaida in Iraq - has been rebuilding for years. VOA's Jela de Franceschi takes a closer look at the rise of ISIS and its implications for the Middle East and beyond.
Video

Video Israel Concerned Over Syrian Rebels in Golan

Israeli officials are following with concern the recent fighting between Syrian rebels and government forces near the contested Golan Heights. Forty-four U.N. peacekeepers from Fiji have been seized by Syrian Islamist rebels and the clashes occasionally have spilled into Israel. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forces

A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video US Detainees Want Negotiators for Freedom in North Korea

The three U.S. detainees held in North Korea were permitted to speak with foreign media Monday. The government of Kim Jong Un restricted the topics of the questions, and the interviews in Pyongyang were limited to five minutes. Each of the men asked Washington to send a representative to Pyongyang to secure his release. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti has our story.
Video

Video Turkmen From Amerli Describe Survival of IS Siege

Over the past few weeks, hundreds of Shi'ite Turkmen have fled the town of Amerli seeking refuge in the northern city of Kirkuk. Despite recent military gains after U.S. airstrikes that were coordinated with Iraqi and Kurdish forces, the situation remains dire for Amerli’s residents. Sebastian Meyer went to Kirkuk for VOA to speak to those who managed to escape.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.

AppleAndroid