Press Releases

“The legislation would enable millions of illegal immigrants to access federal and state welfare and entitlement programs, with the most significant costs occurring outside the 10-year budget window when they would be eligible for green cards and ultimately citizenship. No lawmaker should vote on this legislation until we have a complete and thorough estimation of the long-term cost.” 

WASHINGTON—U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), Ranking Member of the Senate Budget Committee, sent a letter today asking the Congressional Budget Office to provide a long-term estimate of the costs associated with the recently introduced Gang of Eight immigration plan.

Text of Sessions’ letter follows:

“Dear Dr. Elmendorf:

Today, Senators Schumer, McCain, Durbin, Graham, Menendez, Rubio, Bennet and Flake introduced S. 744, the “Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act.” The legislation would enable millions of illegal immigrants to access federal and state welfare and entitlement programs, with the most significant costs occurring outside the 10-year budget window when they would be eligible for green cards and ultimately citizenship. No lawmaker should vote on this legislation until we have a complete and thorough estimation of the long-term cost.

I am therefore writing to request that the Congressional Budget Office examine S. 744’s long-term impact on the Federal budget. This analysis should assess the legislation’s effects on Federal outlays, separate from changes to offsetting collections and receipts, over each of the four, 10-year periods beginning after the current budget window. In addition, the estimate should, to the extent practical, show specific changes in outlays beyond the 10-year window in many of the mandatory and entitlement spending programs that will be affected by the legislation. These federal programs include Social Security Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, Medicare, Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program, exchange subsidies, and refundable tax credits, such as the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Child Tax Credit.

To assist with enforcement of the budget point of order created in section 311 of the fiscal year 2009 budget resolution, I also ask that this estimate provide a determination of whether S. 744 increases the on-budget deficit by more than $5 billion in any of the four, 10-year periods described above.

The Senate majority has recently indicated that it plans to move the legislation through committee on an expedited timetable and place it before the full Senate in May. Given this urgency, and the enormous consequences for American taxpayers and the federal budget, I ask that the requested information be provided as quickly as possible.

Thank you for your immediate attention to this matter.

Very truly yours,

Jeff Sessions
Ranking Member”

[NOTE: Previously, Ranking Member Sessions, along with Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Chuck Grassley and former Agriculture Ranking Member Pat Roberts, wrote a letter to Gang of Eight Republican members raising many of the same cost concerns outlined above.]