CBO Releases Two Analyses of the Senate’s Immigration Legislation

by Sabrina I. Pacifici on June 19, 2013

“The Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act (S. 744) would revise laws governing immigration and the enforcement of those laws, allowing for a significant increase in the number of noncitizens who could lawfully enter the United States on both a permanent and temporary basis. Additionally, the bill would create a process for many individuals who are present in the country now on an unauthorized basis to gain legal status, subject to requirements specified in the bill. The bill also would directly appropriate funds for tightening border security and enforcing immigration laws, and would authorize future appropriations for those purposes. Based on joint work with the staff of the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT), CBO released two analyses related to the immigration legislation that was approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee:

  • A cost estimate providing projections of the bill’s effects on federal spending, revenues, and the deficit.
  • A report on the economic impact of S. 744, analyzing the bill’s effects on economic output, the size of the labor force, employment, wages, capital investment, interest rates, and productivity.

In sum, relative to current law, enacting S. 744 would: Increase the size of the labor force and employment; Increase average wages in 2025 and later years (but decrease them before that); Slightly raise the unemployment rate through 2020; Boost the amount of capital investment; Raise the productivity of labor and of capital, and; Result in higher interest rates.”

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