The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released a report finding that the immigration provisions in the Democrats’ Build Back Better (BBB) Act (H.R. 5376) would add $115.1 billion to the deficit of the United States over the next ten years. This goes well beyond the House Democrats’ $107.5 billion allocated for the BBB Act’s Judiciary components, which includes the immigration amnesty for 7 million illegal aliens.
The House passed the FAIR-opposed bill by a vote of 220-213. Only a single Democrat – Rep. Jared Golden (Maine) – voted against the $1.75 trillion tax and spend package which included the largest amnesty in American history. FAIR’s analysis of the bill’s immigration provisions is available here.
The bill’s financial and societal cost is staggering. The CBO’s estimate runs only for ten years even though the immigration provisions will, in all likelihood, extend beyond that time period. That is because it is unlikely that a future Congress in 2031 will have the political courage to strip the parole protections from illegal aliens benefiting from this amnesty. Instead, they’ll likely extend the protections and keep them in place, which is what presidents and Congresses have done with other “temporary” immigration policies such Temporary Protected Status (TPS), Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), and the Optional Practical Training (OPT) program within the F-1 visa. Far-left Democrats know that it will be politically difficult to strip these amnesty protections in the future. There is nothing more permanent than a “temporary” immigration solution.
Under the BBB Act, more than 7 million illegal aliens receive work authorization and can access certain welfare programs. This will lead to staggering costs on programs such as Social Security and Medicare. Indeed, Jason Richwine of the Center for Immigration Studies estimates that this amnesty will cost well over $1 trillion.
Because most of the entitlement costs associated with amnesty would occur outside the typical 10-year budget window of the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), it is imperative that Congress ask the CBO to do a special analysis of long-term entitlement costs when it scores the amnesty provisions of this reconciliation bill. Otherwise, the most significant costs of the amnesty will be hidden.
The potential effects of the BBB Act are profound. Over 7 million illegal aliens will receive an amnesty in the form of administrative parole, which shields them from deportation and allows them to legally work in the United States. The bill “recaptures” unused green cards from past years in order to dole them out to job-destroying H-1B workers from India and China working for Big Tech corporations. And now, because of the CBO’s analysis, we know that this bill will add a staggering amount of money to the deficit and put unnecessary burdens on social welfare programs like Medicare and Social Security.