CBO: We can’t tell you how much illegal immigration would go down under bill meant to solve illegal immigration

posted at 9:41 pm on June 24, 2013 by Mary Katharine Ham

Super. A lot of this is a function of Congress getting the Hoeven-Corker Amendment down on paper only days before a vote. The Congressional Budget Office, when forced to crunch the numbers on a compressed time line, couldn’t quite come up with an answer on what is, according to polling, the most important part of the bill to the American people. Not to mention, it’s the alleged entire rationale for passing an immigration bill. The status quo is unacceptable, they say, and we must pass something to fix the problem once and for all. And yet, we can’t even get a prospective answer on how much illegal immigration might be stopped by the current bill before the Senate starts voting. That’s how you know that’s not really the driving purpose behind the bill. The last version of the bill was projected to stop a whopping 25 percent of illegal immigration and leave some 3 million illegal immigrants ineligible for legalization (whom we all know from past experience will simply stay here, too).

Here’s the non-answer on what the Hoeven-Corker Amendment would do:

Although CBO cannot precisely estimate the impact on population flows of either the committee-approved version of S. 744 or the proposed amendment, the agency expects that the amendment would further reduce the net annual flow of unauthorized residents into the United States relative to what would occur under the committee-approved bill.

The net inflow of unauthorized residents has two main elements: a flow of people who cross the border without authorization, and a flow of people who
enter the country with authorization to stay for a temporary period but stay after that authorization has expired. The amendment would significantly increase border security relative to the committee-approved version of the bill, and it would strengthen enforcement actions against those who stay in the country after their authorization has expired. Therefore, CBO expects that, relative to the committee-approved version of S. 744, the amendment would reduce both illegal entry into the country and the number of people who stay in the country beyond the end of their authorized period.

CBO estimated that the committee-approved version of S. 744 would reduce the net inflow of unauthorized residents by about one-quarter compared with the projected flow under current law. CBO expects that the reduction under the amendment would be greater than under the committee-approved version but has not yet been able to formulate a specific numerical estimate. The uncertainty associated with future population flows under current law, S. 744 as approved by the committee, or the amendment is very great.

Let’s talk about the element of uncertainty in the immigration reform process. Phil Klein writes that the CBO has referenced it frequently in its attempt at best estimates:

– “The effects of immigration policies on the federal budget are complicated and uncertain, and they become even more so as they extend farther into the future.”

– “The projections of the budgetary impact and other effects of immigration legislation are quite uncertain because they depend on a broad array of behavioral and economic factors that are difficult to predict.”

– “Because the estimates of population changes and budgetary effects that would result from enacting the legislation are very uncertain—even in the first 10 years following enactment—CBO’s estimate for the second decade following enactment should be viewed as falling in the middle of a wide range of possible outcomes.”

– “In light of the uncertainties surrounding the effects of S. 744 in the very long run, CBO and JCT are not able to provide estimates of budgetary effects for the legislation beyond 2033.”

The CBO, to the best of its ability, tries to make projections that are of use to lawmakers, journalists and policy analysts. But it’s important to keep in mind that estimating the effects of changes to the immigration system are subject to even more uncertainty than typical legislation, which is already subject to a lot of uncertainty. There are so many moving parts involved in immigration policy and making estimates involves trying to predict human decision making on a mass scale.

Doesn’t mean the CBO estimates should be completely disregarded, but it does mean caveats abound.

And, that’s my central problem with the legislation. I consider myself someone who might have been persuadable. I think a simpler, fairer immigration system that allows more legal immigration would be good for the country and more humane for those who are currently standing in line to get into this country. I’m not opposed to the idea that a robust legal immigration plan can be a net gain to our economy and our people. I think the majority of those here illegally are here to make a better life for themselves and I’m sympathetic to that, though not totally forgiving. But if such a reform is to allow those who have broken the law coming here to be rewarded for those actions, it should at the very least, offer some assurances that it might actually solve the illegal immigration problem in something close to satisfactory fashion. That seems like a pretty low bar for a bill whose raison d’etre is supposed to be solving the illegal immigration problem.

If not, it’s not reform. If not, the only assurance is that we will be passing this same bill with the same rationale and the same emotional bullying and racial demagoguing 15 years from now. It almost feels like that’s the point, huh? Is there any evidence, uncertain or no, that that’s not the case?


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CBO: We can’t tell you how much illegal immigration would down under bill meant to solve illegal immigration

Where is the proofreader today?

Difficultas_Est_Imperium on June 24, 2013 at 9:46 PM

How much illegal immigration would GO down under bill?

cynccook on June 24, 2013 at 9:46 PM

I thought that maybe “down under” was a new verb or something.

cynccook on June 24, 2013 at 9:47 PM

It’s fixed, panty-wadders.

Mary Katharine Ham on June 24, 2013 at 9:48 PM

We can’t tell you how much illegal immigration would go down under bill meant to solve illegal immigration…because it won’t.

Try turning back that tide.

Gonna take a lot more than the magical powers of The Light Giver to do that once this abomination bill becomes law.

coldwarrior on June 24, 2013 at 9:51 PM

It’s fixed, panty-wadders.

Mary Katharine Ham on June 24, 2013 at 9:48 PM

LOL No, I really did think it was some hip new phrase in policy circles that I hadn’t heard of yet!

cynccook on June 24, 2013 at 9:51 PM

It’s fixed, panty-wadders.

Mary Katharine Ham on June 24, 2013 at 9:48 PM

Hehe, panty-wadders, MKH said panty-waders.

VegasRick on June 24, 2013 at 9:51 PM

LOL! Thanks MKH, you are more responsive than other authors here, for that we thank you!

Difficultas_Est_Imperium on June 24, 2013 at 9:51 PM

Border security is a red herring.

They could implement 100% security, and it won’t matter. Why?

These 20+ million new democrat voters would simply vote in those who will open the gates and roll out the red carpet.

No to amnesty, ever, no matter what, period.

Rebar on June 24, 2013 at 9:51 PM

It’s fixed, panty-wadders.

Mary Katharine Ham on June 24, 2013 at 9:48 PM

(:->)

KOOLAID2 on June 24, 2013 at 9:52 PM

No end to illegal immigration

Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., may be making bold pronouncements from the Senate floor about how “illegal immigration will be a thing of the past” if his bill becomes law, but the CBO disagrees. They write: “Unauthorized residents would find it harder both to enter the country and to find employment while unauthorized. However, other aspects of the bill would probably increase the number of unauthorized residents—in particular, people overstaying their visas issued under the new programs for temporary workers.”
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Overall, CBO estimates that Schumer-Rubio would only decrease illegal immigration by just 25 percent. Combine that future flow of illegal immigrants with the 3 million illegal immigrants who CBO estimates will not qualify for legalization this time around, and you have a growing cohort of future illegal immigrants who are guaranteed to demand another amnesty years from now.

Higher unemployment

In addition to not ending illegal immigration, CBO estimates that Schumer-Rubio will also make unemployment worse too. “Employment would increase as the labor force expanded, because the additional population would add to demand for goods and services and, in turn, to the demand for labor,” the report reads. “However, temporary imbalances in the skills and occupations demanded and supplied in the labor market, as well as other factors, would cause the unemployment rate to be slightly higher for several years than projected under current law.”

Lower wages

Not only will more Americans be unemployed if amnesty passes, but those with jobs will also suffer lower wages as well. “The legislation would particularly increase the number of workers with lower or higher skills but would have less effect on the number of workers with average skills,” the report says. “As a result, the wages of lower- and higher-skilled workers would tend to be pushed downward slightly (by less than ½ percent) relative to the wages of workers with average skills.”

Ponzi scheme deficit reduction

Even the CBO’s top line $197 billion deficit reduction number does not stand up to scrutiny. That number is only valid if you believe the Social Security and Medicare trust funds don’t exist. It includes all payroll taxes paid to those programs that are supposed to be saved to pay for them decades from now. If we maintain the fictions of the Social Security and Medicare trust funds, then S. 744 actually adds $14.2 billion to the deficit over ten years. But like any Ponzi scheme, those paying into the system now will eventually want to get paid what they were promised years from now. When today’s cohort of amnestied illegal immigrants begins to retire, Social Security and Medicare will begin to collapse. S. 744 may shore up the two entitlement programs in the short-term, but it makes them more fragile long-term.

Resist We Much on June 24, 2013 at 9:52 PM

Let’s talk about the element of uncertainty in the immigration reform process

…there is no “uncertainty”…we are screwed!

KOOLAID2 on June 24, 2013 at 9:54 PM

LOL! Thanks MKH, you are more responsive than other authors here, for that we thank you!

Difficultas_Est_Imperium on June 24, 2013 at 9:51 PM

I’m glad y’all took it in the spirit it was intended. Ha.

Mary Katharine Ham on June 24, 2013 at 9:55 PM

It’s fixed, panty-wadders.

Mary Katharine Ham on June 24, 2013 at 9:48 PM

Try wading in these knickers…

The new XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXL underwear for women with a 105 inch waistline (and they’re flying off the shelves)

ha

Resist We Much on June 24, 2013 at 9:56 PM

It’s fixed, panty-wadders.

Mary Katharine Ham on June 24, 2013 at 9:48 PM

Such whiners, MK. It could be a lot worse – this could be Autoblog.

Ward Cleaver on June 24, 2013 at 9:56 PM

No to amnesty, ever, no matter what, period.

Rebar on June 24, 2013 at 9:51 PM

I’m already surfing the net for a “Recall Heller” site to donate to. We need to get in touch, en mass, with our house of reps folks and let them know how pissed off we are. Elections for all of them in 2014. Remind them.

VegasRick on June 24, 2013 at 9:56 PM

Levin read the provision that gives Napolitano discretion one the boarder fence. Basically, all she has to do is submit a plan to move legalization forward. No enforcement or fence needs to be built. They also drafted the bill in such away that makes it impossible to litigate when DHS inevitably fails to secure the boarder. If this becomes law, were all screwed. Including out children and grandchildren.

jawkneemusic on June 24, 2013 at 9:57 PM

There will be a flood across the border. There already is.

wolly4321 on June 24, 2013 at 9:58 PM

I’m glad y’all took it in the spirit it was intended. Ha.

Mary Katharine Ham on June 24, 2013 at 9:55 PM

At least they did’nt “go all caps on your azz” – classic MKH!

VegasRick on June 24, 2013 at 9:59 PM

I’m glad y’all took it in the spirit it was intended. Ha.

Mary Katharine Ham on June 24, 2013 at 9:55 PM

BTW, really enjoyed your debate with Juan today, conducted in a respectful and humorous way, which is a rarity these days.

Difficultas_Est_Imperium on June 24, 2013 at 9:59 PM

Does it matter….When has the CBO ever been right?

William Eaton on June 24, 2013 at 9:59 PM

Immigration exploded after Reagan’s 1986 amnesty – it’ll be even worse after this one. I’m amazed when I go into Walmart now, and I see all the Mexican products on the shelves (yes, they cater to the illegals), like Fabuloso (the Mexican version of Pine Sol).

Ward Cleaver on June 24, 2013 at 10:01 PM

I’m not sure what these scumbags can come up with next that could drive my opinion of the government any lower.

forest on June 24, 2013 at 10:08 PM

Wait until they introduce the “multiplier effect” into their projections. You know it’s coming……

“But really, when you take into account the multiplier effect, this bill will help stop billions of illegals in the country.”

can_con on June 24, 2013 at 10:08 PM

The needs of the people who seek and willingly hire illegal aliens won’t change. They’ll still seek and hire illegal aliens because 1) they don’t care and 2) they want cheap.
 
You don’t really think the same folks who aren’t illegal anymore are going to keep working the same jobs, do you?
 
What we’ll have is the same number of illegals (although an entirely new batch to replace the old ones) and millions of newly-minted citizens to compete with our already struggling low/no-education class.
 
And don’t forget the new illegals will have students in our schools, use our hospitals, etc. $$$

rogerb on June 24, 2013 at 10:12 PM

None of this B/S matters one little bit, because none of it really addresses the central issue. They can legislate until they’re blue in the face and pass whatever clever and crafty laws they want but as soon as they get done with this charade the Executive Branch is going to enforce whatever parts they find congenial and ignore the rest. And any funds allocated for any part of the package will be awarded to Obama fundraisers and the show will be over.
The issue that hides just under the surface, that nobody wants to talk about, is that the President claims the right to cherry-pick the law and only enforce those he likes. And we still say we live in a country of laws and not men??? Seriously???

Lew on June 24, 2013 at 10:18 PM

I’m glad y’all took it in the spirit it was intended. Ha.

Mary Katharine Ham on June 24, 2013 at 9:55 PM

Let me add my thanks for a couple of genuine laughs in another dismal day of bad news.

Drained Brain on June 24, 2013 at 10:20 PM

CBO: We can’t tell you how much illegal immigration would go down under bill meant to solve illegal immigration

That’s easy…zero simply doesn’t compute at the CBO.

Dr. ZhivBlago on June 24, 2013 at 10:22 PM

In ten years they will be saying:

We are a nation of illegal immigrants

-with a straight face.

Unless this treasonous Suicide Pact called “reform” is stopped and crushed.

profitsbeard on June 24, 2013 at 10:49 PM

the agency expects that the amendment would further reduce the net annual flow of unauthorized residents into the United States relative to what would occur under the committee-approved bill

Sure it will….just like the 2006-2007 legislation requiring 700 miles of double-layer border fence resulted in 700 miles of double-layer border fence.

xblade on June 24, 2013 at 11:05 PM

the agency expects that the amendment would further reduce the net annual flow of unauthorized residents into the United States relative to what would occur under the committee-approved bill

Sure it will….just like the 2006-2007 legislation requiring 700 miles of double-layer border fence resulted in 700 miles of double-layer border fence.

xblade on June 24, 2013 at 11:05 PM

Fences are really, really hard to build.

Just like politicians find it hard to tell the truth.

profitsbeard on June 25, 2013 at 12:51 AM

Everyone knows, without study, that importing millions of poor Mexican families will cost, not make money.

I expect the CBO will find that carbon taxes will actually spur the economy and pay for themselves. Hacks.

virgo on June 25, 2013 at 1:34 AM

I can guarantee ya….The fence will get built…. but it ain’t gonna be built to keep people OUT… it’s gonna be built to keep ya IN…. just watch

roflmmfao

donabernathy on June 25, 2013 at 2:16 AM

Illegal immigration will go to Zero. Because there will no longer be any such thing as “illegal immigration”.

JohnBrown on June 25, 2013 at 8:30 AM

Immigration exploded after Reagan’s 1986 amnesty – it’ll be even worse after this one. I’m amazed when I go into Walmart now, and I see all the Mexican products on the shelves (yes, they cater to the illegals), like Fabuloso (the Mexican version of Pine Sol).

Ward Cleaver on June 24, 2013 at 10:01 PM

There’s a Walmart here in Tucson that was running all its in-store audio advertisements in Spanish — not English and Spanish, just Spanish.

They eventually stopped due to customer complaints, but it tells you a lot about who they think their customers are (or should be).

AZCoyote on June 25, 2013 at 8:40 AM

Illegal immigration will go to Zero. Because there will no longer be any such thing as “illegal immigration”.

JohnBrown on June 25, 2013 at 8:30 AM

This. Schumer ain’t lyin’ you just have to understand what he means.

The issue that hides just under the surface, that nobody wants to talk about, is that the President claims the right to cherry-pick the law and only enforce those he likes. And we still say we live in a country of laws and not men??? Seriously???

Lew on June 24, 2013 at 10:18 PM

Legal beagles, what alternatives do we have to do to force the Executive Branch to enforce all the laws of the land?

dave80 on June 25, 2013 at 1:27 PM