Budget numbers show SKILLS Visa Act will benefit US economy

12 Mar 14

UNITED STATES

The SKILLS Visa Act – the House bill that would increase the numbers of highly-skilled foreign workers – will reduce the federal deficit by $110 billion over the next decade, according to the Congressional Budget Office, or CBO.

“[E]nacting H.R. 2131 would increase revenues by $118 billion over the 2014-2024 period. That increase, largely reflecting additional collections of income and payroll taxes, would result primarily from an expansion in the size of the U.S. labor force,” the CBO said in a report. The report also stated that over the 2025-2034 period, H.R. 2131 would reduce the federal deficit by $400 billion. The SKILLS Visa Act (or “Supplying Knowledge-based Immigrants and Lifting Levels of STEM Visas Act”) was introduced by Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) in May and would raise the annual number of high-tech and other highly-skilled foreign workers for employment-based temporary visas and green cards, eliminate per-country caps and get rid of backlogs.

BAL Analysis: The budget numbers are a major positive development for advocates of immigration reform and businesses seeking to increase quotas for highly-skilled foreign workers and immigrants through legislation. However, it is unclear whether the positive economic projections are enough to clear the bill through the political logjam.

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