The pending Senate immigration bill would bring a minimum of 33 million people into the country during its first decade of operation, according to an analysis by NumbersUSA, a group that wants to slow the current immigration rate.
By 2024, the inflow would include an estimated 9.2 million illegal immigrants, plus 2.5 million illegals who arrived as children — dubbed ‘Dreamers’ — plus roughly 3.4 million company-sponsored employees with university degrees, said the unreleased analysis.
The majority of the inflow, or roughly 17 million people, would consist of family members of illegals, recent immigrants and of company-sponsored workers, according to the NumbersUSA analysis provided to The Daily Caller.
The estimate is likely the first of several that will be produced by advocates as the Senate grapples with the immigration bill developed by the “Gang of Eight” senators.
The 844-page bill was released last week, and was scheduled for debate and amendment in the Senate’e judiciary committee starting April 25. However, the amendment process was held up for a week by Republican Senators, who said they need more time to study the complex bill.
Advocates for the bill have yet to release any estimates of the future inflow.
“Nobody has a number that is based on the bill right now that’s accurate,” Lynn Tramonte, deputy director of the pro-immigration America’s Voice Education Fund, told the Christian Science Monitor in an April 25 article. “It’ll take a bit more [analysis] to get a specific number about how things will change.”
A high inflow could prove to be a political problem for the bill’s advocates.
An April 20-22 Fox News poll of 1,009 registered voters showed that 55 percent of respondents want a reduction in the current number of legal immigrants.
Currently, the country accepts 1 million immigrants and 700,000 temporary company-sponsored workers each year. The bill would boost that to roughly 3 million immigrants and 1 million company-sponsored workers per year.
Forty-five percent of non-whites, 53 percent of independents and 62 percent of people without college degrees, favor a reduction in legal immigrants. Only 18 percent of Republicans and 29 percent of independents favor an increase in legal immigration, the Fox poll reported.
The current population of the United States is 314 million. That estimate includes roughly 40 million immigrants, both legal and illegal.
Opponents of the immigration bill are already highlighting the potentially large inflow.
“I believe the interest that needs to be protected is the national interest of the United States, and that includes existing workers today, workers whose wages have been pulled down, without doubt, by a large flow of… low-wage labor into the country,” Alabama Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions said during one of three hearings on the pending bill.
“This bill would continue that in a way that’s very disturbing to me,” he said.
NumbersUSA’ said that its estimates of a 33 million inflow “are conservative … [because they do] not attempt to project increases in these categories that are certain to occur in future years,” once many of the new immigrants seek green cards for their overseas relatives.
Also, some categories of immigrants are uncapped, and the analysis “does not attempt to project increases in these [family unification] categories that are certain to occur in future years,” it says.
The pending bill allows illegal immigrants to bring their overseas spouses and children into the country, says the NumbersUSA report. If that provision is implemented, “it could more than double the [illegal immigrant inflow] number shown in the chart,” bringing the total inflow to 40 million by 2024, it said.
The analysis shows an inflow of roughly 3.4 million university trained immigrants. That estimate does not include graduates who get green cards under the family unification route, or the uncapped inflow of doctors and PhD-carrying scientists.
Roughly 1.8 million Americans graduate from college each year, including 300,000 with degrees in science and engineering.
Population-growth forecasts will also contribute to the emerging fight over the bill’s cost, because the award of a green card — or the right to live in the United States — confers access to some government benefits.
“It is important to note here that each of the individuals represented in this chart becomes eligible for Obamacare on the day a green card is issued,” said the NumbersUSA analysis. “Most of those on the chart will then have to wait five years before they become eligible for all US welfare benefits … [but some] will actually become eligible for welfare immediately upon being issued a green card,” said the report.
Enrollment in Obamacare is expected to spike the cost of the immigration bill, partly because federal subsidies are used to offset the annual Obamacare cost of $20,000 for a family of four.
Currently, pro-immigration groups such as the American Action Forum, the Cato Institute and the Center for American Progress are criticizing a pending-cost estimate that is being prepared by the Heritage Foundation. In 2006 and 2007, Heritage’s cost-estimates helped to derail pending immigration bills.