Juns 21, 2013
Senator Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) promised that passage of the Gang of Eight immigration bill would render illegal immigration “a thing of the past.” But the Congressional Budget Office report tells a very different story: It projects that 4.8 million new illegal immigrants and their U.S.-born children will be living in the country in 2023 if the bill becomes law. While that represents a modest reduction from the number expected under existing law, it does not even come close to ending illegal immigration but envisions millions more illegal immigrants — a built-in constituency for yet another amnesty a decade hence.
Nor do the projections get any better in the out years. The law would see 7.5 million new illegal immigrants in the decade from 2023 to 2033 — also a modest reduction from current expectations, but hardly a solution to the problem of illegal immigration. High levels of illegal immigration will persist not only because of what the bill fails to do on border security but also because aspects of it will actively encourage future lawbreaking. For example, the CBO forecasts a spike in the number of people illegally overstaying visas issued under new programs for temporary workers.
Perhaps Senator Schumer is one-third correct: Illegal immigration is a thing of the past; it is a thing of the present and, under this bill, would be a thing of the future, too. In fact, the CBO estimates that over the next 20 years we would in effect replace our 11 million or so illegal immigrants with more than 12 million new ones.