Republicans demand tougher border security as part of any immigration reform
WASHINGTON (NBC) -
Supporters of the Senate's bipartisan immigration reform bill are getting momentum from a new report saying the plan eventually would greatly reduce the federal budget deficit.
The report from the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office says immigration reform would boost the economy and cut the deficit by $197-billion dollars over ten years as increased taxes offset benefits to new citizens.
But conservatives rallying outside the Capital are not buying it.
"It's a city of lies and they are going to have a Congressional Budget Office score designed to pretend that this costs nothing," said Robert Rector of the Heritage Foundation.
The Senate's bill, created by the so-called Gang of Eight of republicans and democrats, offers hope of citizenship to 11-million people.
"The good news in this C.B.O. report about the economic benefits of immigration reform is exactly one of the reasons why 70 percent of Americans support it. It's good for the economy," said democratic Senator Bob Menendez of New Jersey.
But house republicans are backing a much different bill that makes it a federal crime to illegally live in the U.S. and tightens borders.
"The gang of 8 bill has empty promises doing nothing to increase border security and Americans are tired of empty promises," said Republican Senator Ted Cruz of Texas.
House Speaker John Boehner says there will be no house vote unless there's an agreement on tightening our borders.
Senators agree that's the main sticking point.
"Those of us who would like to see good, credible immigration passed believe as I do that this legislation is dead on arrival without real border security," republican Senator John Cornyn of Texas said.
Despite its shaky future the senate bill, backed by President Obama, is set for a final vote as early as July 3rd.
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