President Trump has kicked Obama’s unconstitutional Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) back to Congress and stated that he will extend his initial six month deadline if Congress fails to act.

While there doesn’t appear to be much (any?) movement on this in either the House or the Senate, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released a report that legalizing Dreamers will cost U. S. taxpayers $25.9 billion over the next 10 years.

The Washington Times reports:

Legalizing 2 million illegal immigrant “Dreamers” would cost the government $25.9 billion over the next decade, as those now-legal people would claim more tax, education and other benefits they haven’t been able to get before, the Congressional Budget Office said Friday.

The CBO also said newly legalized Dreamers would sponsor 80,000 more immigrants to enter the country as part of “chain migration.”

Immigrant-rights activists have argued that legalizing Dreamers would be a financial boon to the country, but the CBO and the Joint Committee on Taxation suggested otherwise, saying that while they would pay somewhat higher taxes in to the government, they would take far more out of it.

The findings could be a blow to activists who have demanded the bill be included in any year-end spending deal. Congress already struggles to find offsets for other spending, and digging a hole more than $25 billion deeper could be difficult.

“In total, CBO and JCT estimate that changes in direct spending and revenues from enacting [the bill] would increase budget deficits by $25.9 billion over the 2018-2027 period,” the budget analysts said in their analysis.

The CBO said there are between 11 million and 12 million illegal immigrants in the U.S. now, and some 3.25 million of those would be eligible for the Dream Act.

Those Dreamers who are projected to become U. S. citizens over the next decade will be able to sponsor their family members to join them in the U. S.  The CBO estimates that this will include 80,000 extended family members of the estimated 1.6 million who would be eligible.  This seems low.

The Washington Times continues:

Under the bill, anyone brought to the U.S. as a minor who has worked toward an education and kept a generally clean criminal record could apply for immediate legal status. Most of those would go on to be able to apply for citizenship eventually.

Of the 3.25 million eligible, about 2 million would actually apply, the CBO said, and 1.6 million of them would earn status over the next decade. Roughly 1 million would go on to become citizens within the decade, allowing them to sponsor other relatives to enter the U.S., analysts predicted.

Even people who can’t speak English would be able to qualify for tentative legal status because the educational requirements can be done in Spanish, the CBO said.

There are additional considerations regarding the CBO report and legalizing Dreamers.

Chain migration is a hot button issue, and L. Francis Cissna, director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, argues that the chain should be broken.  Cissna also suggests that it’s time to end the “visa lottery.”

From the Hill:

By prioritizing the admission of immigrants based on factors like education and professional skill, we can maximize the beneficial impact of each immigrant on our society. This will lead to both economic gains and a more secure homeland.

Unfortunately, two parts of our current immigration system work directly against this goal: the diversity visa program, also known as the “visa lottery” program; and the current extended family-based immigration system, which allows immigrants to sponsor not just their own spouse and minor children, but a variety of extended family members, including even siblings and their spouses and children.

The effect of the laws allowing extended family migration is often referred to as “chain migration,” because each extended family member that successfully immigrates can in turn sponsor his or her own network of extended family members. Neither the diversity visa program nor the extended family migration laws take into account our country’s economic needs or national security priorities. They hamper our ability to seek out the best candidates to become part of U.S. society.

. . . .  Lottery winners enter the United States as green card holders and are immediately able to start sponsoring other family members, who, in turn, may sponsor their own extended family members. After five years as permanent residents, lottery winners can become U.S. citizens, at which point they may sponsor an even wider array of extended relatives.

Over time, the combination of the diversity visa program and the laws allowing extended family migration result in the admission of hundreds of thousands of immigrants without any assessment of whether their job skills meet any sort of U.S. economic need and without any consideration of the immigrants’ age, education, English language ability, or close connection to the United States.

Ultimately, Cissna argues, chain migration should be restricted to immediate family.

Common sense suggests that we should be choosing who immigrates here based on either their ability to help build the American economy or their very close family connection to a U.S. citizen or green card holder. We need to end extended family chain-migration that favors low-skilled or no-skilled immigrants, and instead establish a point-based system for merit-based immigration. The system would take into account an immigrant’s skills, education, ability to speak English, and other factors that favor successful assimilation and significant contribution to our country and our economy.

Other countries like Canada, England and Australia have adopted similar systems in order to ensure that immigration protects their workers, strengthens national security and fosters assimilation. I urge Congress to revisit its previous bipartisan willingness to terminate the diversity visa program and trim back extended family immigration.