Reforms to the US immigration system being weighed by the US Senate would decrease the federal budget deficit by 197 billion dollars over a decade, a study released Tuesday found.
The legislation would offer a path to citizenship for an estimated 11 million people residing in the country illegally, and the study released by the Congressional Budget Office bolster supporters who say the reforms would boost the US economy.
The immigration bill would cost the government an estimated 262 billion dollars from 2014-2023, but would generate some 459 billion dollars in new income taxes as the US labour force increases and immigrant workers who gain legal status begin paying taxes.
Senator Chuck Schumer, who is among the bill's sponsors, called the findings "a huge momentum boost for immigration reform."
"It debunks the idea that immigration reform is anything other than a boon to our economy, and robs the bill's opponents of one of their last remaining arguments," he said.
The White House also welcomed the findings from the nonpartisan office that reviews the costs of legislation.
"By fixing our broken immigration system - and making sure that every worker in America is playing by the same set of rules and paying taxes like everyone else - we can grow the economy, strengthen the middle class, improve our fiscal outlook and create new opportunity for Americans everywhere," spokesman Jay Carney said.
The Senate is currently considering a variety of amendments to the measure, but immigration reform would also have to pass the lower House of Representatives to be signed into law.
The measure faces more opposition from majority Republicans in the House and Speaker of the House John Boehner said Tuesday he would not bring an immigration bill to the chamber for consideration if it "doesn't have majority support" from his Republican Party.
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