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November 03, 2021

Inhofe, Lummis, Blackburn, Cruz, Kennedy, Braun, Wicker Reintroduce Bill to Fully Fund Border Wall

Today, U.S. Sens. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), John Kennedy (R-La.), Mike Braun (R-Ind.) and Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) reintroduced the WALL Act, legislation that would fully fund the border wall along the southern border. Their legislation, first introduced in December 2018, is also the first bill that will fund the wall by identifying specific funding sources.    

“Over the past year, we’ve seen an unprecedented number of illegal immigrants pour into the country, and the Biden administration’s inability or unwillingness to secure our border from the flow of drugs and dangerous criminals is a growing threat to our national security,” said Inhofe. “I’ve always said: border security is national security, and to have a secure border, we need to build a wall. That’s why I have reintroduced the WALL Act. We’re going to build the wall through concrete reforms that protect the integrity of Oklahoman’s tax dollars and address the crisis that President Biden and the Democrats have worsened.”

“The Biden administration’s approach to border security is a complete dereliction of duty. Telling migrants not to come while simultaneously halting construction of the border wall and writing checks to illegal immigrants sends the message that our borders are open and our laws are moot. It’s time to finish the construction of the southern border wall and enforce our immigration laws. That must be goal number one as we look at the problems in our immigration system. I thank Senator Inhofe for his leadership on this issue,” said Lummis.

“During my visit to the southern border last month, I saw firsthand that our nation is in crisis because of President Biden’s open border agenda,” said Blackburn. “President Biden spent billions of taxpayer dollars to cancel our border wall, and he is incentivizing even more illegal immigration with his proposal to issue millions of dollars in settlement payouts. Along with my colleagues in the Senate, I am taking action to keep the White House’s radical policy agenda from making every state a border state and every town a border town.”

“Under President Biden and Vice President Harris’ watch, illegal immigrants are flooding across the border at the highest level in 35 years. This influx has boosted dangerous international criminal cartels and created a humanitarian crisis in South Texas communities like Del Rio, where thousands of Haitian immigrants have camped under the Del Rio International Bridge due to a lack of resources at migrant housing facilities. This man-made crisis is a direct result of political decisions made by the administration, including halting wall construction on day one, and Congressional Democrats have not so much as held a hearing to listen to Texas witnesses who continue to suffer from these decisions. I urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to swiftly pass the WALL Act to help stop this massive influx of illegal immigrants and end this crisis,” said Cruz.

“With more illegal border crossings this year than ever before, we need to focus taxpayer dollars on solving the border crisis instead of aggravating it. I’m proud to work with Sen. Inhofe to fund the border wall without asking taxpayers for another penny. The common sense steps in the WALL Act would pay for a southern border wall and protect both U.S. citizens and immigrants in the process,” said Kennedy.

“Illegal border crossings are at an all time high thanks to President Biden’s disastrous border policies. It is due time that we finish building the wall at our southern border. The Wall Act will ensure that the border wall is fully paid for by closing loopholes that allow illegal immigrants to receive federal benefits and tax credits,” said Braun.

“We are in the middle of the worst illegal immigration surge in decades, and the Biden Administration has failed to take action to stop it,” said Wicker. “The WALL Act would strengthen our southern border and eliminate several incentives that have encouraged illegal immigrants to travel to the U.S. The Senate should pass this bill without delay so that we can finally bring to a halt the madness on our southern border.”

This legislation will fully fund a border wall while providing specific ways to pay for it:  

Require a work-authorized Social Security Number (SSN) to claim refundable tax credits, like the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) or the Child Tax Credit:

Currently only the child needs a SSN, not the parent benefiting from the refundable child tax credit. The WALL Act would require the parent to have a valid work-eligible social security number.

Before 2003, the Social Security Agency did not distinguish between work-eligible and non-work eligible SSNs. Therefore, there are individuals benefiting from the EITC they are not authorized to receive because they are non-work eligible.

Require welfare applicants (food stamps, TANF, HUD, etc) to verify citizenship:

Currently someone only needs to “declare” citizenship and provide a SSN to receive some of these benefits.

The WALL Act enhances citizenship verification prior to granting benefits using E-verify and require a work-authorized SSN for eligibility.

Increasing the minimum fines on illegal border crossers and establishes minimum penalty for visa overstays.

This legislation is designed to complement the Asylum Abuse Reduction Act that Sen. Inhofe re-introduced in March, legislation that will address immigration loopholes to improve the integrity of the asylum process. The United States experienced a 234 percent increase in asylum applications from 2014 to 2016, generating a backlog in our immigration courts.

The Asylum Abuse Reduction Act would:

Require migrants to declare asylum at our embassies/consulates in Mexico or Canada before entering the United States.

Create a criminal bench warrant for immigrants that have failed to appear for immigration court.

Codify the Trump Administration’s Third Country Asylum Rule.

Establish a fix to the Flores Settlement Agreement.

Read more about the Asylum Abuse Reduction Act here.


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