Limbaugh Pushes Wild Claim That Immigrant Population Will Reach 46 Million In Two Decades

Rush Limbaugh cited a flawed statistic several times during his radio show to claim that the future immigrant population will reach 46 million in two decades under the Senate's immigration reform bill, even though the Congressional Budget Office's (CBO) scoring of the bill contradicts that statistic.

The 46 million immigrant statistic was reported by The Daily Caller's Neil Munro, who claimed that “current forecasts predict an inflow of roughly 11 million per decade, or 22 million by 2033.” Munro goes on to explain that 22 million “plus the new 16 million [as reported in the CBO] and the eight million illegals [who are already here], add up to 46 million new or legalized people for the nation in 20 years.”

During the June 19 edition of his radio show, Limbaugh jumped on board attributing this number to the CBO report, not Munro:

However, the 46 million number is not based in fact.  The “current forecasts” that The Daily Caller, and subsequently Limbaugh, relies on for predicted inflow of roughly 11 million per decade comes from the nativist anti-immigrant group NumberUSA, and that estimate has been debunked. This number is also contradicted by the CBO report itself which explains that, including legal and unauthorized residents by the year 2033, the net change in U.S. population will be 16.2 million over the next two decades compared with the number projected under current law.* As a chart from the CBO report shows, the 16.2 million number includes future flows and the undocumented immigrants already here who will gain legal status under immigration reform:

Despite the positive CBO report, right-wing media have tried to use it to attack the immigration reform bill and pit immigrants against American citizens. 

*This post has been edited for clarity.