Illegal immigration into the U.S. could be cut in half by an immigration bill passed by the Senate that includes a "border surge" to secure the Southwest border with Mexico, according a new analysis released Wednesday.
The Congressional Budget Office had previously estimated that the Senate's immigration proposal, crafted by a bipartisan group of senators known as the Gang of Eight, would reduce illegal immigration by about 25%. That proposal would have added 3,500 Customs and Border Patrol officers along the border with Mexico.
But the Senate approved an amendment brokered by Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., and Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., that would provide $38 billion to double the size of the Border Patrol to nearly 40,000 agents and flood the region with new drones, sensors and surveillance technology. Those additions, the CBO found, could cut illegal immigration by 33-50%.