The Facts Behind the “Border Surge”


A new report from the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) says that the “Border Surge” authorized by the Senate immigration reform bill would cost $23 billion in taxpayer money over the first ten years. That amount would be more than paid for by new tax revenues, roughly $197 billion, collected from previously undocumented immigrants receiving legal status.

The report, dated July 3, 2013, says that the Border surge would significantly reduce undocumented immigration:

For the Senate-passed version of S. 744, CBO estimates that the net in flow would be reduced by between one-third and one-half compared with the projected net inflow under current law.  That effect would not be immediate, as it would take several years before DHS could hire the full number of Border Patrol agents called for in the act.

Most of us do not support the Border Surge, but for conservatives demanding that immigration reform requires beefed up security, the message from the CBO is that it is in there already. If they really want to reduce undocumented immigration, voting for reform would accomplish that.

Link to CBO report

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Patrick Young blogs daily for Long Island Wins. He is the Downstate Advocacy Director of the New York Immigration Coalition and Special Professor of Immigration Law at Hofstra School of Law. He served as the Director of Legal Services and Program at Central American Refugee Center (CARECEN) for three decades before retiring in 2019. Pat is also a student of immigration history and the author of The Immigrants' Civil War.

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