CBO - Congressional Budget Office

09/24/2019 | News release | Distributed by Public on 09/24/2019 12:47

H.R. 2203, the Homeland Security Improvement Act of 2019

Rules Committee Print 116-27, a modified version of the text of H.R. 2203, as reported by the House Committee on Homeland Security, would make several changes to immigration policy and to the operations and oversight of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Among those changes, section 208 of the bill would terminate DHS's Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection's policy of limiting the number of prospective asylum applicants who may cross the international border based on the space available at the port of entry (known as metering). Ending MPP and metering would allow more aliens (non-U.S. nationals) who have expressed a fear of returning to their country of nationality to enter the United States while awaiting removal proceedings before an immigration judge. It is at such proceedings that affected aliens have the opportunity to seek relief from removal.

While awaiting their court proceedings, those aliens could receive a variety of federal health and nutrition benefits if they otherwise qualified; any aliens who remained in the United States despite being ordered removed could receive emergency Medicaid. Any children born to those aliens while in the United States would be U.S. citizens; they would be eligible for all federal benefit programs if they otherwise qualified. Among the benefits for which affected aliens and their U.S.-born children would be eligible are subsidies (tax credits) for health insurance purchased through the marketplaces established under the Affordable Care Act. Those health-insurance subsidies account for most of the estimated increase in direct spending and all of the estimated reduction in revenues.

H.R. 2203, as reported by the House Committee on Homeland Security on July 19, 2019, also would have terminated the interim final rule entitled 'Asylum Eligibility and Procedural Modifications,' published in the Federal Register on July 16, 2019. The Rules Committee Print 116-27 does not include that provision.