As Congress debates whether or not to extend emergency unemployment benefits and how to pay for it, it’s worth noting that the Congressional Budget Office has projected that, under the Gang of Eight immigration-reform legislation, many more people would collect unemployment benefits.
“Under S. 744, CBO estimates that between 100,000 and 200,000 more people would collect UI benefits each year over the 2015–2023 period, and that outlays for additional UI benefits would total $5.1 billion, an increase of about 1 percent,” the nonpartisan agency wrote in its June 2013 assessment of the Senate bill.
CBO also projected that, because the Gang of Eight proposal would dramatically increase the number of unskilled and temporary workers legally admitted to the country over the next decade, average wages for American workers would fall, and unemployment would rise over the next ten years.
A group of House conservatives is attempting to draw attention to this widely overlooked aspect of comprehensive immigration reform (as defined by the Gang of Eight and its proponents). “Job number one for Congress should be to reduce the unemployment rolls, get families and communities out of poverty and government dependency, rebuild our deteriorating communities and collapsing middle class, and increase wages for American citizens,” the lawmaker wrote in a letter to President Obama on Wednesday. “Your immigration proposals do the exact opposite on every count.”