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'Immigration reform in US would reduce deficit by $900 bn'

Washington, March 26 (IANS/EFE) The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office reported Tuesday that the immigration form plan presented by Democrats in the House of Representatives would reduce the US budget deficit by $900 billion over the next 20 years.

The CBO estimates that approving the bill – virtually identical to the bipartisan measure passed by the Senate last June – would save the country about $200 billion in the first decade and some $700 billion in the second.

That forecast assumes that the legislation would increase the population by some 10 million people in more than a decade, adding another 8 million undocumented immigrants whose status would be legalised.

The CBO report “proves that now is truly the time to pass comprehensive immigration reform,” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said in a statement.

“With this sensible, bipartisan legislation, we can raise wages, empower our small businesses, spur innovation and create jobs. We can bring our broken immigration system into line with our history and our values – securing our borders, protecting our workers, uniting our families, and creating an earned pathway to citizenship,” the California Democrat said.

Pelosi lamented the fact that “despite the enormous (economic) benefits” and the “overwhelming support” of the US population for the reform, Republicans continue to block a vote on comprehensive immigration reform.

“Enough is enough – and Democrats are demanding a vote,” Pelosi said.

“It is time for Republicans to stop catering to the most extreme, anti-immigrant wing of their caucus, and allow a vote on the bipartisan immigration reform our nation so urgently needs,” she said.

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