The benefits to reducing the federal budget deficit in the sweeping immigration bill passed last month by the Senate have been reduced by $39 billion due to increased border-security measures, the Congressional Budget Office said Wednesday.
The nonpartisan CBO, the congressional investigative agency, released a new deficit estimate for the bill, saying now that will cut the deficit by $158 billion between 2014 and 2023, The Hill reports.
That is $39 billion less, however, than the $197 billion reported for the original bill when it moved out of the Senate Judiciary Committee last month. The difference is because of amendments that increase efforts to secure the border, the CBO said.
The reform legislation, introduced by the bipartisan Gang of Eight senators in April, passed the Senate last month on a 68-to-32 vote. It now heads to the House of Representatives.
The $46 billion in increased border-security measures include the doubling of U.S. Border Patrol agents to 40,000, and the increased use of surveillance technology along the border. This would include unmanned drones, cameras, and ground sensors.
The legislation also would double the amount of fencing along the Mexico border to 700 miles. About 40 miles of fencing currently lines the border.
The CBO estimates that the increased security spending would reduce the number of illegal immigrants in the United States by 800,000 over 10 years than the original bill, which was expected to lower illegal immigration by 1.6 million people, The Hill reports.
The changing estimates stem mostly from a $36 billion increase in direct spending under the amended bill. Revenues would decline by $3.2 billion, as taxes paid on behalf of illegals fall.
Because 800,000 fewer people would be living in the United States, economic growth from the bill also would be expected to dip slightly, the CBO said.
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