Posted on April 16, 2015

An Immigration Reform Agenda for the 114th Congress

Immigration Reform, April 14, 2015

Illegal immigration and mass immigration are detrimental to the quality of life in the United States. The American family is increasingly bearing the costs of urban sprawl, environmental degradation, traffic congestion, increased crime, overburdened health care, overwhelmed public schools, and debt-ridden state and municipal governments–all results of uncontrolled immigration. The fiscal costs of immigration, legal and illegal, have always been substantial, but with the recent economic downturn, these costs have become even more burdensome. FAIR estimates that the annual cost of illegal immigration alone to the American taxpayer–after accounting for tax revenue received from illegal aliens–is roughly $113 billion. Congress and the federal government must restore legitimacy to the U.S. immigration system by ensuring that existing immigration laws are enforced and passing new legislation that will curtail legal immigration and improve the quality of life for all Americans.

Unfortunately, over the past two years lawmakers made little progress on immigration, despite the urgent need to do so. As the 113th Congress was sworn in, the U.S. was continuing to dig itself out of the worst recession to hit our nation since the Great Depression. Unemployment had dropped to roughly eight percent, but official data showed that the decrease was largely due to Americans dropping out of the labor market, with the labor force participation rate dropping to under 64 percent. Moreover, data also showed that immigrants benefitted disproportionately from the creation of new jobs.

FAIR presents this Immigration Reform Agenda for the 114th Congress as a guide for ending illegal immigration, curbing executive overreach, reducing legal immigration to a more sustainable level, and improving/enhancing national security–thereby lifting the burden on the American taxpayer, and improving our quality of life.

We look forward to working with you through the 114th Congress. The full report is available in PDF.