AUGUST 22, 2006
The immigration proposal passed by the Senate in May would, not only cost taxpayers hundreds of billions of dollars to implement over the next decade, it would allow about 16 million illegal aliens to become legal residents and qualify for government benefit programs.
A 27-page report published by the Congressional Budget Office breaks down the astronomical price tag of the proposed legislation, estimating that it would cost $49 billion over the next five years and a whopping $127 billion over the next ten years.
The report says that the biggest expense would be for increased enforcement such as hiring more border patrol officers, building more detention facilities and a more stable border barrier or fence. Other big expenses include government benefit programs, such as refundable tax credits for the working poor, which would rise by $16 billion for they years 2007 to 2011.
Additionally, the report documents how the legalization of more than 16 million illegal immigrants would increase spending on Social Security and Medicare benefits by $10.5 billion over the next decade.
Passed by the U.S. Senate on May 25, 2006, the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act is still being debated in the House of Representatives. Besides border enforcement and the legalization of illegal immigrants already in the country, it proposes to create a guest worker program that will allow access to foreign workers and a new electronic employment verification system.
Not surprisingly, pro immigration groups such as the massive National Council of La Raza, http://www.nclr.org/content/policy/detail/1058/ support the legislation and especially endorse the portion called the DREAM Act, which grants illegal immigrants the much-cheaper in-state college tuition at public universities where even American-born students must pay high rates simply because they live in another state.
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