Majorities of Americans may tell pollsters they support the idea of giving citizenship to illegal immigrants, but a new poll from National Journal suggests that may change as they are better informed about what the immigration legislation currently being debated in Congress really does.
According to the latest United Technologies/National Journal Congressional Connection Poll, 77 percent of Americans oppose giving government benefits, like food stamps and Medicaid, to illegal immigrants before they become citizens. Not only do 90 percent of Republicans oppose such a policy, but 65 percent of Democrats do as well.
Unfortunately for supporters of the Schumer-Rubio immigration legislation, that is exactly what the bill does according to the Congressional Budget Office. The CBO’s Cost Estimate of S. 744 reads:
If S. 744 was enacted, executive branch agencies would probably face pressure from states and other stakeholders to provide people who are lawfully present in the United States with the federal benefits that are available to qualified aliens, including assistance provided through Medicaid, CHIP, SNAP, student loans, and Pell grants. For this estimate, CBO assumed that such agencies would settle on an interpretation of the law that permitted some individuals with RPI, blue card, or V-visa status to receive benefits from those programs—as well as from other programs from which those people would not be explicitly excluded by S. 744 or existing law.
Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, did offer an amendment in the Senate Judiciary Committee that would have clearly prohibited all illegal immigrants on the path to citizenship from receiving any federal, state, or local benefits. Senate Democrats and pro-amnesty Republicans joined to defeat that amendment.
As a result, according to the CBO, Schumer-Rubio would result in $82.3 billion more Obamacare subsidy spending, $29.3 billion more in Medicaid spending, $6 billion more in food stamp spending, $5.1 billion more in unemployment insurance spending and $3.5 billion more in child nutrition spending. Newly legalized immigrants would also be eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit, which would cost the federal government an additional $126.8 billion.