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S.744 passes out of committee; House immigration bill hits a snag

May 28, 2013

One week ago, the Senate Judiciary Committee voted to advance S.744 out of committee for consideration by the Senate. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid promised that the bill will come to the Senate floor in June. The Congressional Research Service has prepared a concise summary of the 844-page bill, detailing the changes it would make to the immigration system.

Meanwhile, in the House, efforts to release the draft House bill for Comprehensive Immigration Reform were slowed last week when reports indicated disagreement over provisions in the draft legislation regarding healthcare. The leadership in the House still plans to introduce the draft bill in June.

As CIR is debated in Congress, commentators continue to debate specific provisions as well as the overall cost of immigration reform. Senator Jeff Sessions as well as the conservative Heritage Foundation have expressed opposition to CIR as embodied in S.744. The Heritage Foundation released a study on the costs of CIR, estimating that it would cost the United States trillions of dollars. The report was criticized by conservatives and liberals alike. Analyst Alex Nowrasteh of the libertarian Cato Institute summarizing

Professor Raul Hinojosa-Ojeda of UCLA wrote a paper for Cato last year where he employed a dynamic model called the GMig2 to study comprehensive immigration reform’s impact on the U.S. economy. He found that immigration reform would increase U.S. GDP by $1.5 trillion in the ten years after enactment.

Professor Hinojosa-Ojeda then ran a simulation examining the economic impact of the policy favored by Heritage: the removal or exit of all unauthorized immigrants. The economic result would be a $2.6 trillion decrease in estimated GDP growth over the next decade. That confirms the common-sense observation that removing workers, consumers, investors, and entrepreneurs from America’s economy will make us poorer.

Would decreasing economic growth by $2.6 trillion over the next ten years have a negative impact on the fiscal condition of the U.S.?  You betcha.

Do the authors consider the fiscal impact of their preferred immigration policy?  Nope.

 

 

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