CBS' Face the Nation reinforced conservative arguments that the Senate immigration bill doesn't strenghten the border, but ignored the Congressional Budget Office report's finding that the Senate bill could cut illegal immigration in half as a result of the bill's border surge amendment.
CBO: Senate Immigration Bill Could Cut Illegal Immigration By 50 Percent
CBO: Senate Bill Would Reduce Illegal Immigration "By Between One-Third And One-Half." In a July 3 report scoring the Senate immigration reform bill, the Congressional Budget Office wrote that the border enforcement amendment added to the bill would reduce illegal immigration "by between one-third and one-half":
The net inflow of unauthorized residents has two main elements: a flow of people who enter the country without authorization, and a flow of people who enter the country with authorization to stay for a temporary period but stay after that authorization has expired. S. 744 as passed would significantly increase border security relative to the committee-approved version of the bill, and it would strengthen enforcement actions against those who stay in the country after their authorization has expired. Therefore, CBO expects that, relative to the committee-approved version of S. 744, the Senate-passed act would reduce both illegal entry into the country and the number of people who stay in the country beyond the end of their authorized period.
CBO estimated that the committee-approved version of S. 744 would reduce the net inflow of unauthorized residents by about one-quarter compared with the projected net inflow under current law. For the Senate-passed version of S. 744, CBO estimates that the net inflow would be reduced by between one-third and one-half compared with the projected net inflow under current law. That effect would not be immediate, as it would take several years before DHS could hire the full number of Border Patrol agents called for in the act.
Consequently, CBO estimates that the number of unauthorized residents in 2023 would be lower by about 800,000 than estimated for S. 744 as reported by the Judiciary Committee. Under the committee-approved version of S. 744, the net increase in the U.S. population would be 10.4 million people, CBO estimates. Under the Senate-approved version of S. 744, that net increase would be about 9.6 million people, after accounting for the larger decline in the number of unauthorized residents. [Congressional Budget Office, 7/3/13]
Senate Immigration Reform Bill Militarizes Border In Afghanistan-Style Surge
Senate Bill Includes A Number Of Provisions For Strengthening Border Enforcement. The bill, which passed the Senate on June 27, includes a number of provisions to strengthen border enforcement, including allocating $30 billion to hire an additional 17,000 Border Patrol agents over the next decade; calling for no less than 700 miles of total fencing along the U.S.-Mexico border; and allocating $3.2 billion for additional air and marine support across the Southwestern border.
[Corker-Hoeven Amendment, 7/3/13, via Media Matters]
Competitive Enterprise Institute: Senate Bill Ushers In "Military-Style Mobilization" on the U.S.-Mexico border. In a post highlighting the Senate bill's border enforcement measures, the conservative Competitive Enterprise Institute argued that the amendment ushers in "military-style mobilization" on the U.S.-Mexico border. It added that the bill's border provision "is not simple 'border security' -- personnel-wise, it's a mobilization proportional to the one in Afghanistan." [Competitive Enterprise Institute, 6/26/13]
Face The Nation Repeated Conservative Narrative On Border Enforcement While Ignoring CBO Report
CBS' Major Garrett Repeated GOP Claim That Senate Bill Doesn't Bolster Border Security. During the July 7 edition of Face the Nation, CBS News' chief White House correspondent Major Garrett allowed Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX) to distort the border provisions of the Senate immigration bill and their effects on illegal immigration. Garrett also failed to note CBO's conclusion that the bill could reduce illegal immigration by half. From Face the Nation:
McCAUL: I have some concerns about the border security piece that was laid out in the Senate bill in terms of throwing forty-six billion dollars at a problem without any plan, without any strategy, without any definition of operation control. And, yeah, there's an old saying, you know, if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. We have no plan and that's the problem over the last decade within prior administrations.
GARRETT: Do you think that forty-six billion dollars was just covered to get Senate Republican votes and because there's not a plan from your vantage point it's illegitimate?
McCAUL: I believe that it's not a responsible plan. I believe it was hatched at the last minute to -- to get votes to pass what they -- they passed in the Senate. On the House side, I passed a bipartisan bill out of my committee that will be, I think, the centerpiece of the enforcement and border security piece. We can't go back to 1986, we granted amnesty to illegals and then forgot about the security provisions. And I think that's the important lesson that we can't repeat today.
McCAUL: And what the Senate just passed was, again, a bunch, you know, candy thrown down there, a bunch of assets thrown down there to gain votes, but with that methodical, smart border approach. We want a smart border. We also want a smart immigration plan, something that makes sense.
GARRETT: Do you think the President and Democrats in the House and in the Senate are setting Republicans up and want to see this issue fail and become a dominant issue in the midterm elections next year?
McCAUL: I am -- I am deeply concerned that the efforts should be bipartisan. Border security on my committee was a unanimously approved, completely bipartisan bill. My concern is the political backdrop could be that the White House would like to see this fail in the House, so that he can blame the House of Representatives for that and then try to take back the House of Representatives and then all bets are off on his agenda. [CBS, Face the Nation, 7/7/13]
Garrett Repeated Claim That "There Is No Guarantee" Border Provisions Will Be Enforced. During an interview with Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-CA), Garrett gave credence to the claim that "there is no guarantee" the Senate bill's border provisions would be enforced - and again failed to point out CBO's conclusions. From Face the Nation:
GARRETT: Some skeptics might say Democrats accepted that money, A, because it's authorized only, meaning it's not appropriated, meaning there is no guarantee behind that money, and that the other elements of it, border fencing, there's a law in existence right now that calls for border fencing, not enforced. That it was a kind of fig leaf that accomplished something legislatively, but won't really happen. That's why it made it easier for Democrats to accept that. How do you respond to that?
BECERRA: Our immigration laws reflect American values and our priorities. Not Republican values and priorities or Democratic values and priorities. And so when we do something on the border or at the workplace or with the undocumented, it should reflect what Americans want us to do and quite honestly they're saying, fix the entire system. So I think what you're finding is that there will be a compromise, a smart compromise. You got to be smart, you got to be tough, but you've got to be fair. And if you can do that, you'll have a full fix. And I think the Senate-- while I disagree with some components of the Senate bill and I certainly disagree with a lot of the components of the Senate amendment that as -- as Chairman McCaul said threw money at the problem -- I think what the Senate did was what the American people are wanting: get it done. [CBS, Face the Nation, 7/7/13]
Garrett Repeated GOP Claim That Senate Border Plan "Isn't A Good Plan" And "May Waste Taxpayer Dollars." During an interview with Janet Murguia, president of the National Council of La Raza, Garrett repeated McCaul's claim that "there isn't a good plan behind" the Senate bill's border provisions and that it "may waste taxpayer dollars." From Face the Nation:
GARRETT: You heard on this very set Congressman McCaul and Congressman Becerra agree on one thing, that the Senate amendment that added all that money on Border Patrol and border control was probably too much money, that there isn't a good plan behind it and may waste taxpayer dollars. Do you agree with that?
MURGUIA: Oh, absolutely, not. I believe that there is an excessive amount of security money in this bill. There's no question about that.
GARRETT: And you're willing to live with that?
MURGUIA: But what you know -- well, look, this is a difficult process for many of us who want stop and see a solution on this. There've been a lot of compromises already made in this Senate bill. And, frankly, there are folks in my constituency and, certainly, across the -- the spectrum who have a lot of concerns about the investments we've already made son security. We put eighteen billion dollars--
MURGUIA: -- alone last year, more than all enforcement agencies combined on the-- on securing the border.
GARRETT: Janet, let me pick up on that point with Dan [Stein, president of the Federation for American Immigration Reform].
MURGUIA: This is going to be an additional thirty -- thirty billion. This is an additional thirty billion. So for folks to say that it's not going a long way to address this problem is simply not true. We will have a secure border. The question is we need to reform the rest of the system. We have a great approach in the Senate bill that addresses the legal immigration system--
MURGUIA: --and one that will bring order and restore the rule of law. That's what the American people want. [CBS, Face the Nation, 7/7/13]