Vice President Joe Biden Wednesday called for Congress to pass immmigration reform into law by the end of summer. (Photo : Reuters)
While the debate on immigration reform in Washington rages on, Vice President Joe Biden called for legislators to get a bill passed on immigration reform by the end of the summer.
According to Politico, Vice President Biden spoke at an event Wednesday sponsored by the Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies as a tribute to the late Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, who died in December. While at the ceremony, Biden said he was "optimistic" that legislators in Washington would pass immigration reform.
"As my grandpop would say, with the grace of God and the good will of neighbors, Congress will show the wisdom to pass the bipartisan immigration bill by the end of the summer," Biden said, speaking at a gala dinner at the Washington Hilton. "They must."
President Obama has been busily campaigning for immigration reform since the start of January, while publicly supporting a bipartisan senate panel's proposed legislation, which is currently before Congress.
The speech delivered by Biden praised Inouye, a World War II veteran, for being a mentor to him. Inouye, the son of Japanese immigrants, had served in the Senate for nine terms and had intended to run for a record 10th term prior to his death.
Noting Inouye's contributions in the political world, Biden said the possibilities for more people like Inouye to make contributions in the U.S. could grow if legislators passed immigration reform.
"And the vast majority of the American people understand the history and the journey of this great nation has always been fueled by immigrants who have fought for the right to come to America and fought for the right to be American citizens," he said.
"How many more Daniel K. Inouyes are among them, waiting for their chance to make unbelievable contributions to the country they love? Like Danny, who I knew and [loved], I believe there will be many."
Meanwhile, on Wednesday, the Social Security Administration estimated that the senate bill currently on the table that would put millions of undocumented immigrants on a pathway to U.S. citizenship would actually boost social security's trust fund and help the economy.
Social Security Actuary Chief Stephen Goss sent a letter to Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., one of the members of the "Gang of Eight" who submitted the immigration proposal, according to USA Today. In the letter, Goss projected that the bill would actually add 3.2 million jobs, boosting the country's gross national product by 1.63 percent and put more money into the coiffures for Social Security's trust fund over the next 10 years.
Noting that many undocumented immigrants living in the U.S. don't pay taxes, Goss said that bringing them officially into the fold and having them pay taxes would help bolster the nation's economy. In addition, Goss projected that if the bill's security stipulations designed to reduce illegal immigration in the U.S. by half would create a positive net growth for the nation's retirement program.
"We estimate a significant increase in both the population and the number of workers paying taxes in the United States as as result of these changes in legal immigration limits," Goss wrote. "Overall, we anticipate that the net effect of this bill on the long-range (Social Security trust fund) actuarial balance will be positive."
The statements notably come days after the Heritage Foundation issued an updated study on Monday claiming that legalizing undocumented immigrants would cost the nation an estimated $6.3 trillion over the next 50 years-a statement which Sen. Rubio disputed.
"The study is not a legitimate study," Rubio said on "CBS This Morning"Thursday. "It overestimates the number of people that are going to be counted in the system ... it includes four million kids that are already living here now ... a quarter of the costs are for traffic and police and ... public services that are already being provided."