Legalizing 2 million illegal immigrant “Dreamers” would cost the government $25.9 billion over the next decade, as those now-legal people would claim more tax, education and other benefits they haven’t been able to get before, the Congressional Budget Office said Friday.
The CBO also said newly legalized Dreamers would sponsor 80,000 more immigrants to enter the country as part of “chain migration.”
Immigrant-rights activists have argued that legalizing Dreamers would be a financial boon to the country, but the CBO and the Joint Committee on Taxation suggested otherwise, saying that while they would pay somewhat higher taxes in to the government, they would take far more out of it.
The findings could be a blow to activists who have demanded the bill be included in any year-end spending deal. Congress already struggles to find offsets for other spending, and digging a hole more than $25 billion deeper could be difficult.