Senate bill doesn’t stop most illegal immigration: Fed study

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Mr. Goss also predicted that about 3.5 million more workers will be granted visas over the next decade and an additional 625,000 family members will get visas. Those numbers are substantially lower than opponents have predicted.

Mr. Goss said newly legalized immigrants and future workers will benefit Social Security — at least during the first 10 years — paying more in payroll taxes than they claim in benefits.

But a Heritage Foundation study this week said the bill becomes a bad deal for taxpayers in later decades. Over 50 years, newly legalized immigrants and future workers will pay $3.1 trillion more in taxes, but will take $9.4 trillion in all benefits, including Social Security, Medicare and welfare.

One key estimate in Mr. Goss‘ analysis was over the effects of stricter enforcement in the bill.

The actuary said stiffer border security and interior enforcement would cut illegal immigration by about 100,000 people in 2015 and by a cumulative total of 2.09 million over a full decade. But illegal immigration will add 2.103 million to the population over that time, he estimates.

The actuary didn’t return a message late Wednesday seeking details on how those calculations were reached.

Mr. Goss provided his estimate in response to a request from Sen. Marco Rubio, a Florida Republican who was one of eight negotiators who wrote the bill. Mr. Goss said he reviewed the legislation and spoke with Mr. Rubio’s staffers, who told him what they intended to do with the bill, and he built his “preliminary” estimate from that.

“Immigration has always been a net benefit for America, and the actuary’s assessment of the immigration reform legislation is further validation of this,” Mr. Rubio said.

Mr. Sessions, though, questioned the basis of the analysis. He sent a letter this week asking Mr. Goss to take account of the lower education levels of workers who are likely to be legalized under the Senate bill.

“Logic suggests that these workers would earn a lower wage than their ‘documented’ cohorts,” he said.

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