US immigration reform would result in fewer immigrants coming to the country and a smaller boost to the economy, according to a progressive think tank. The think tank ran the numbers regarding the comprehensive immigration reform bill that the US Congress is currently considering, and discovered that it is likely to cause 150,000 fewer immigrants to come to the United States per year than is currently the case.
The basic change is that it would create around 500,000 extra lawful immigrants but around 600,000 fewer unlawful immigrants, with new legal avenues of entry and the new security at the border driving the change. “The bill is taking what’s been a chaotic system and having people come here without status, and putting it into an orderly, legal way,” says Center for American Progress analyst Phillip Wolgin.
The authors are hoping that their findings will allay concerns that the bill is going to result in a massive rise in the amount of new permanent residents. It is also worth pointing out that the forecasts only apply to those immigrants who succeed in achieving residency, with the expanded number of high and low skilled workers granted temporary US visas not included in the figures, with several hundred thousand more workers being allowed in under these categories every year.
Nor do the calculations factor in the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants who are already living in the United States, arguing that they are already living and working in the country regardless of their status.