A group of Republican Senators introduced legislation to fully fund the $25 billion border wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.
The construction of the border wall is one of the priorities of President Donald Trump. He repeatedly promised that Mexico will pay for it.
On Thursday, U.S. Senators Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Jim Inhofe (R-Oklahoma), Mike Rounds (R-South Dakota), and John Kennedy (R-Louisiana) introduced the WALL Act. It is the first legislation that identifies funding sources for the border wall.
The Republican senators are proposing to stop the benefits for undocumented immigrants to fund the border wall.
Proposed funding sources for the border wall
Under the WALL Act, parents must have a valid work-eligible social security number (SSN) to claim refundable tax credits. Welfare applicants must verify their citizenship.
In addition, the legislation will raise the minimum fines on border crosses and establishes a minimum penalty for visa overstays.
In a statement, Cruz emphasized that a majority of American including his constituents in Texas want to secure the border. He reiterated his conviction that building a wall is necessary to stop the flow of illegal immigration into the United States.
According to him, “The WALL Act would fully fund the border wall by closing existing loopholes that provide illegal immigrants with federal benefits,” He added that the legislation will not affect Americans’ benefits and tax credits.
On the other hand, Kennedy said, “We can certainly afford the construction. Sen. Inhofe and I are teaming up on legislation that will save taxpayers $33 billion simply by ensuring that the taxpayers’ generosity isn’t wasted.”
“If you want to receive food stamps and other benefits, then you should prove your citizenship. If you cross the border illegally or overstay your visit to this country, then you should pay a stiff penalty,” he added.
In August, U.S. Representative Andy Biggs (R-Arizona) introduced the “Fund and Complete the Border Wall Act.” To fund the border wall, he proposed reducing foreign aid to Mexico and other countries by $2,000 for every person caught entering the U.S. illegally. He also suggested increasing fees for travel Form1-94 from $6 to $25.
Trump currently demanding $5 billion for border wall
Earlier this year, the Congress passed a $1.3 trillion compromise spending bill, which included $1.6 billion for border security.
Currently, Trump is demanding additional $5 billion for border security. He is threatening to shut down the government if Congress will approve a continuing resolution without funding for border wall. House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi rejected Trump’s demand.
Therefore, the legislative proposal to fully fund the border wall is unlikely to move anywhere. Take note that Democrats, which regained control of the House of Representatives, have been resisting it.