Senate Immigration Bill Would Bring Millions Of Legal Immigrants to U.S. Workforce

The Congressional Budget Office reported that the U.S. population, over the next two decades, would be likely to increase by 15 million people above the probable level if no changes were made to immigration laws.

Even after decades of growth in the U.S. foreign-born population, the added increase could be felt in ways large and small around the country.

"That is baked into the basic premise of the bill," said Doris Meissner, a senior fellow at the Migration Policy Institute, "which is that you need to provide legal avenues for people to come to the country both in longer-term temporary and in permanent visa categories in order to meet the needs of the future and avert the incentives for illegal immigration."

The Senate bill's treatment of immigrants already in the U.S. illegally is distinct from the system it would create for legal immigration.