CBO: Schumer-Rubio Bill Will Be a Failure

by Mark Krikorian

Heritage, CIS, and others will be exaiming the assumptions behind the Congressional Budget Office projections of the Schumer-Rubio immigration bill’s budget impact, but why not start by just assuming, for the sake of argument, that all the CBO assumptions are plausible and their calculations correct? If so, the bill will fail on its own terms.

Chuck Schumer said recently that passage of the legislation will ensure that “Illegal immigration will be a thing of the past.” Rubio and Graham have made the same claim, repeatedly. But the CBO projects 4.8 million new illegal immigrants and their U.S.-born children will be living in the country by 2023 if the bill becomes law, compared with 6.4 million without it. (This is the 25 percent reduction Andrew Stiles noted below.) The report doesn’t break out the number of U.S.-born children included in that 4.8 million number, but let’s say, for round-number purposes, there would be 4 million new illegal aliens a decade from now. The report also assumes that only 8 million of the current illegals will receive amnesty, leaving 3.5 million still here illegally (if there are about 11.5 million illegals now, as is likely). Assuming further that half a million of them would die or go home over the next decade, that would seem to imply, based on CBO’s own figures, that there would be 7 million illegal aliens living here ten years after the bill’s passage. Does that sound like illegal immigration will have become “a thing of the past”?

And part of the reason for this continued mass illegal immigration would be the “temporary” worker programs so desperately needed to replace all those defective Americans: “Aspects of the bill would probably increase the number of unauthorized residents – in particular, people overstaying their visas issued under the new programs for temporary workers.” In which case, shouldn’t those holding the CBO report up as the definitive assessment of S.744 at the very least work to remove the “temporary” worker programs that would drive future illegal immigration? Otherwise, CBO has projected their bill will fail.

And if the amnesty-pushers claim the CBO is wrong about its projections of continued mass illegal immigration, then what else is it wrong about?