The sweeping immigration reform bill approved late last month by the U.S. Senate would boost the U.S. economy and help create jobs, the White House asserted in a report released Wednesday.
Long supportive of the Senate measure, President Barack Obama and his aides have pushed the Republican-controlled House to take up the comprehensive immigration reform bill, which includes a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants and strict border security provisions.
Some House Republicans have been resistant of the Senate-approved legislation, however, saying any pathway to citizenship amounts to amnesty. GOP lawmakers will meet Wednesday to decide a way forward on immigration, House Speaker John Boehner announced Tuesday.
"We all believe that if we are going to go forward with immigration reform, the first big step is we have serious border security," he said.
At the White House, Obama will meet with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus on Wednesday to discuss immigration reform. And on Capitol Hill, supporters of immigration will rally in support of House action on the Senate's bill.
In the economic report compiled by various administration offices, the benefits of an overhaul of the nation's immigration system are touted, using analysis from the Congressional Budget Office showing the bill would increase GDP and lower deficits.
"Today, too many employers game the system by hiring undocumented workers, and there are 11 million people living and working in the shadow economy. Neither is good for the economy or the country. It is time to fix our broken immigration system," an introduction to the report states.
The CBO report released in June indicated the immigration bill could reduce deficits by $175 billion over the first 10 years and by at least $700 billion in the second decade. The CBO, working with the congressional Joint Committee on Taxation, estimated that 8 million unauthorized residents would become legal in the first decade.
In addition, the CBO report estimated the bill would boost the U.S. population by a net of 10.4 million people by 2023 and by 16 million by 2033.
A bipartisan group has been working on an immigration package in the House, though it differs sharply from the Senate measure by making it harder for undocumented immigrants to get on a path to citizenship.
Members of the House group negotiating the bill would also require that border security measures be in place before any process toward gaining legal status could begin. Lawmakers agreed to include security "triggers" in their proposal in hopes of attracting support from more House Republicans who have been highly critical of the Senate bill. The Senate rejected a similar GOP proposal.