Direct Spending and Revenues Effects of H.R. 2820, as ordered reported by the House Committee on the Judiciary on May 22, 2019
On net, CBO and JCT estimate enacting the legislation would increase budget deficits by $26.3 billion over the 2020-2029 period; on-budget deficits would increase by $31.0 billion, and off-budget deficits would decrease by $4.8 billion over that period. Because enacting the bill would affect direct spending and revenues, pay-as-you-go procedures apply. The pay-as-you-go effects are equal to the change in on-budget deficits (see Table 1).
H.R. 2820 would allow inadmissible or deportable aliens who arrived in the United States before the age of 18 and have been continuously present for at least four years to receive lawful permanent resident (LPR) status under certain conditions. If they meet further qualifications—related to education, employment, uniformed service, disability, caregiving, or hardship to themselves or their relatives—the bill would permit them to remove the conditional basis of their LPR status, making them eligible to become citizens.
CBO estimates that H.R. 2820 would provide lawful immigration status and work authorization to more than 2 million people who otherwise would be physically present in the United States without such legal authority. Enacting the bill would affect direct spending because LPR status confers eligibility for federal benefits—health insurance subsidies and benefits under Medicaid and also under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, among others—provided that those applicants meet the other eligibility requirements for those programs.
Enacting H.R. 2820 also would affect federal revenues because the increase in the number of workers with employment authorization would affect payroll taxes and individual and corporate income taxes. Some newly authorized workers also would become eligible for refundable tax credits (included in the spending total below). In addition, some of the fees established under the bill would be classified as revenues in the budget.
CBO and JCT estimate that enacting H.R. 2820 would increase direct spending by $28.8 billion over the 2020-2029 period. Over that same period, CBO and JCT estimate that the bill would increase revenues, on net, by $2.5 billion—a decline in on-budget revenues of $2.9 billion and an increase in off-budget revenues of $5.5 billion.