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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Fresh caution from Rubio as potential costs of immigration reform released



A Senate Republican analysis today estimated it could cost taxpayers tens of billions annually to legalize undocumented residents, drawing a fresh note of caution from Sen. Marco Rubio. But Rubio also said, in the long run, reform would be good for the economy.

“Since we don’t yet have a legislative proposal, it’s not possible to come up with anything resembling an accurate calculation about the potential fiscal impact of bipartisan immigration reform," Rubio spokesman Alex Conant said. "Obviously we share concerns about the potential fiscal impact of changes to our immigration system, which is why we will ask for an in-depth CBO analysis to inform debate around the bipartisan proposal.

"Senator Rubio has been clear that he will only support legislation that prohibits undocumented immigrants from receiving any Federal benefits, and in our negotiations, the Democrats have gone along with that demand – even agreeing to a partial repeal of Obamacare to bar undocumented immigrants benefits. In the long-term, there’s no question that modernizing our broken legal immigration will be very good for our nation’s economy.”

Fox News reports that "Republicans on the Senate Budget Committee -- responding to a draft immigration bill that includes a path to citizenship for millions of illegal immigrants -- estimated that the cost could total up to $40 billion in 2022, "just for Medicaid and ObamaCare."

"The net costs would be enormous and only increase once citizenship is granted," the office of Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions, top Republican on the committee, said in a statement Thursday.

[Last modified: Thursday, April 4, 2013 4:23pm]


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