If the new Gang of 8 immigration bill, known as S.744, passes, the US economy will need to create 66% more jobs than it did in its best decade over the next ten years, and almost 60 million new legal resident aliens will be created in order to have a steadily growing economy, according to a new study by the immigration think tank the Center for Immigration Studies.
Steve Camarota, the chief author of the study, said that in his estimation the economy will need to create about 35 million new jobs over the next decade. Camarota also noted that the best decade on record was the 1990s, when 21 million jobs were created.
Camarota broke down the estimate this way. He said the economy already needs to create ten million new jobs to make up for those lost in the recession that started in 2008. He said that there will be about ten million more able-bodied people in the workforce over the next decade due to natural population growth. According to the study, here’s how 15 million new legal immigrants of working age will be created.
· An estimated 2.5 million DREAM beneficiaries of any age (including those no longer living in the country) will be eligible for citizenship in five years.
· DREAM beneficiaries will be able to bring in an unlimited number of parents, spouses, and children (not subject to any cap) and those spouses, children, and parents will get permanent legal status in five years and be eligible for citizenship in 10.
· An estimated 800,000 illegal agricultural workers will become legal permanent residents (green card holders) in five years and will then be eligible to bring in an unlimited number of spouses and children.
· An estimated 8 million additional illegal immigrants, including recent arrivals and millions of visa overstays, will receive legal status and work authorization. These 8 million will be able to bring in their relatives as soon as 10 years from now. Those relatives, over time, will be able to bring in spouses, children, and parents.
· An estimated 4.5 million aliens awaiting employment and family-based visas under current cap limitations will be cleared in less than 10 years, not subject to the family-based annual cap (thus freeing up room for more family-based migration that is subject to the annual cap).
In total, 32 million new legal citizens will be created in ten years, according to the study. The bill also lifts caps on a number of visa programs and the study estimates that this will increase the number of approved visas from one million a year, where it is now, to between 2-2.5 million a year.
Senator Jeff Sessions noted in a press release that while supporters of S.744 had promised publicly that the bill would not significantly increase immigration into the United States and that it would move the economy from low-wage jobs to merit-based jobs, they’ve yet produced any figures that would back-up this assertion. As Sessions said,
The Gang of Eight has stated, “this legislation does not significantly increase long-term, annual migration to the United States’ and has indicated the legislation shift the United States from low-skill and chain migration to high-skill merit-based.” Conspicuously, however, they have refused to provide an estimate of future flow.
A fact sheet put out by the office of Senator Marco Rubio challenged these conclusions.
The legislation is in an important phase of the process. Currently, it is going through the mark-up process in the Senate. During this process, any Senator can add any amendment to fix any part of the bill that may have a problem. This process could last at least two more weeks before moving to the House of Representatives. It is during this process that constituent input can play an even bigger role.
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