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CBO Disputes Immigration Bill numbers (update)
Posted by: McQ on Tuesday, June 05, 2007

As anyone who has ever followed politics soon learns, never, ever believe the numerical claims politicians make. If the say something will cost X rest assured it will really cost X + (more than you ever imagined). And if they say something will be reduced by Y, you can bank on it really being reduced by Y - (not even close), or not being reduced at all.

The Senate's immigration bill, per the CBO is one of those bills:
The Senate's immigration bill will only reduce illegal immigration by about 25 percent a year, according to a new Congressional Budget Office report, Stephen Dinan will report Tuesday in The Washington Times.
Per the CBO it will obviously not eliminate it, or, unless you think a 25% reduction is significant, even do much to reduce it.
The bill's new guest-worker program could lead to at least 500,000 more illegal immigrants within a decade, said the report from the CBO, which said in its official cost estimate that it assumes some future temporary workers will overstay their time in the plan, adding up to a half-million by 2017 and 1 million by 2027.

"We anticipate that many of those would remain in the United States illegally after their visas expire," CBO said of the guest-worker program, which would allow 200,000 new workers a year to rotate into the country.
What they're really saying here is the bill has no way to track and no mechanism to enforce their "guest-worker" program. Right now 40% of illegals gain entry legally and simply overstay their visas. What the CBO is saying is based on what they have seen in the bill, that's exactly what guest-workers who want to stay will do, and there is little if anything, from an enforcement standpoint, that can be done.

Another smoke and mirrors claim is outed by the CBO as well, concerning "trigger events":
And in a blow to President Bush's timetable, the CBO said the "triggers" — setting up the verification system, deploying 20,000 U.S. Border Patrol agents to duty and constructing hundreds of miles of fencing and vehicle barriers — won't be met until 2010.

Those triggers must be met before the temporary worker program could begin, and Mr. Bush had hoped to have them completed about the time he leaves office in January 2009.
The Sec. of Homeland Defense has to certify that these trigger events have been completed. Any bets on when that would really happen given, uh, certain desires?
CBO's report said the new bill's effects on future illegal immigration were "uncertain." The analysts said past enforcement measures have "historically been relatively ineffective," but said but said new enforcement measures — extra agents, prosecutors and investigators, fencing and workplace sanctions — will have some effect.

"CBO estimates that those measures would reduce the net annual flow of unauthorized immigrants by one-quarter," the report said. Still, with estimates of hundreds of thousands to one million illegal aliens per year, CBO is assuming a large problem will remain.
So much for "comprehensive reform". Want a legacy Mr. Bush?

Secure the borders. After that is done, then worry about reforming immigration and dealing with the illegals that are here.

UPDATE: More from Bruce Kesler who does a great job of telling you what isn't in the CBO report you should also know.
 
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Previous Comments to this Post 

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I’ll bet that Homeland Security will "certify" that the triggers are met in 8-10 months after passage or possibly less. After all the only proof required is a lame duck politician’s word (and we all are quite aware of what that is worth).
 
Written By: RRRoark
URL: http://soslies.blogspot.com
Obviously the CBO is infested with cynical bigoted unpatriotic scare-mongers who fasten on to every itty-bitty potential shortcoming and blow it all out of proportion. Hey, nothing is perfect!
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
It seems we have three choices: a) a massive deportation effort; b) the status quo; or c) something like the immigration bill before the House and Senate. "C" seems the only reasonable possibility. The current "debate" is more based on appeal to emotion and slogans than a real attempt to deal with a very difficult situation. The fact is that population changes are taking place, and there is nothing we can do about the general trend. That’s globalization. It’ll be a very different country by 2050. But how we handle this matters — and given the current kind of discussion in both parties, common sense seems likely to give way to emotion.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
Or d) enforce the laws currently on the books with regard to employer sanctions, no benefits for illegal immigrants, and cut off remittances back to Mehico. No money, no motivation, self-deportation (or turn to crime and get arrested and deported).
 
Written By: SDN
URL: http://
If this bill passes, one side effect will be a significant reduction in all those "Congressman employeed illegal alien" stories during political campaigns.

I’d like to think that’s not one of their motivations for supporting it. But my supply of "benefit of the doubt for politicans" is at an all-time low.
 
Written By: Billy Hollis
URL: http://
Scott Erb,

Why do you say that there’s nothing we can do about the general trend in population changes? Can’t we slow it down or discourage it by enforcing our laws and getting the border under control? This apparent acceptance of massive change in this country is unnerving to say the least. I’m afraid we’re going to turn into Brazil, with a cognitive elite living in gated communities, and a permanent underclass of uneducated, low skilled, angry people who blame all their problems on the people living in the gated communities. In my opinion, Politicians will also feed on this class warfare situation to their advantage, and this country will become a d*mn uncomfortable place to live for more than a few people.

What I can’t understand is the belief by many that the large majority of illegals will just "assimilate" and everything will be just be fine and dandy! When you’ve got large numbers on your side, and everyplace from Wal-Mart to Home Depot to ATM’s to Kroger ask which language you prefer to do business in, why does anyone think illegals will just join in? Do people think that they will assimilate because they don’t like being catered to?

I’m afraid I just don’t have much faith in the future. Maybe some think it will be a multicultural paradise (Geraldo Rivera comes to mind), but I think we will become a nation of ethnic special interest groups, with very little in common, all fighting each other for a piece of the so-called pie. Correction: Instead of a nation, more like an enormous flea market.
 
Written By: autot
URL: http://
"It seems we have three choices:"

Only if you cannot count past three.
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://

Why do you say that there’s nothing we can do about the general trend in population changes? Can’t we slow it down or discourage it by enforcing our laws and getting the border under control? This apparent acceptance of massive change in this country is unnerving to say the least.
History is full of migrations and population shifts, and given the nature of the world economy and our own economic needs/interests — plus the fact that even if immigration stopped (very unlikely) the demographic changes are already underway — I think we’re seeing a real shift. Whites will be a minority in the not too distant future, and the culture of the US will change. That could be bad, but it doesn’t have to be.

I’m afraid we’re going to turn into Brazil, with a cognitive elite living in gated communities, and a permanent underclass of uneducated, low skilled, angry people who blame all their problems on the people living in the gated communities. In my opinion, Politicians will also feed on this class warfare situation to their advantage, and this country will become a d*mn uncomfortable place to live for more than a few people.
But we’re not Brazil, we’re a first world country with an economy that can adapt, and our ideals: individualism, freedom, markets, and democracy are far better able to handle the changes than the historical misgovernance of Brazil that led them down the path they’re on.

What I can’t understand is the belief by many that the large majority of illegals will just "assimilate" and everything will be just be fine and dandy! When you’ve got large numbers on your side, and everyplace from Wal-Mart to Home Depot to ATM’s to Kroger ask which language you prefer to do business in, why does anyone think illegals will just join in? Do people think that they will assimilate because they don’t like being catered to?
The key is the next generation. The key is to provide good schools that teach and demand English be learned, the key is to make sure that the values of this country are taught and put forth as essential. So a pragmatic compromise would be to find a way to integrate the current population (again, I don’t think mass deportations is feasible, and it would cause more problems than it would solve if tried) and then control the situation. The current bill seems to at least try do that.

Remember, the problem is not really the illegals — they are acting rationally. The problem is that a lot of employers prefer to pay less and illegals are willing to work. That’s really where one has to focus.
I’m afraid I just don’t have much faith in the future. Maybe some think it will be a multicultural paradise (Geraldo Rivera comes to mind), but I think we will become a nation of ethnic special interest groups, with very little in common, all fighting each other for a piece of the so-called pie. Correction: Instead of a nation, more like an enormous flea market.
That’s possible, but I don’t think inevitable. America’s core principles are such that we can bring in new people and make it work. We have to live by those principles. My disagreement with the right is that sometimes the discourse sounds xenophobic and in denial of economic and political realities. The disagreement with the left is that multiculturalism is seen as an end in and of itself, without recognizing that there needs to be a core American culture that can transcend the ethnic differences.

But this is the challenge of the future — dealing with changing demographics nd cultural mixing. (My blog today discusses it in a bit different kind of general context)
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm

 
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