December 05, 2018
U.S. Sens. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), John Kennedy (R-La.) and Ted Cruz (R-Texas) today introduced the WALL Act, legislation that would fully fund the border wall along the southern border. Their legislation is also the first bill that will fund the wall by identifying specific funding sources.
“President Trump has called for a border wall and I agree,” Inhofe said. “As a former builder and developer in south Texas, I know border security is national security and we need to do more to deter the growing numbers of unauthorized immigrants coming across our borders. That’s why I’ve outlined specific ways to fund the border wall by assessing penalties on illegal immigration and closing loopholes that allow unauthorized immigrants to receive federal benefits. We’re going to build the wall through reforms that protect the integrity of hardworking American citizens’ tax dollars. It’s that simple.”
“The primary responsibility of the federal government is the defense of our nation, which includes strong border security,” Sen. Rounds said. “The WALL Act will provide full funding for construction of a physical barrier along our southern border to protect against illegal immigration and stop those who wish to do us harm, such as terrorists, gang members and drug dealers, from entering the United States from the south. It pays for the wall by closing existing loopholes that allow illegal immigrants to receive federal benefits and increasing fines for illegal border crossings and visa overstays. By funding the wall through increased fines, we prevent any risk of dipping into Department of Defense (DoD) funding, which is already stretched thin. I thank Chairman Inhofe for his leadership on this effort and I look forward to advancing this proposal in the Senate.”
We can certainly afford the construction,” said Sen. Kennedy. “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.”
“I have long called for building a wall as a necessary step in defending our border and stopping the flow of illegal immigration into our country,” said Sen. Cruz. “The overwhelming majority of Texans and Americans want to see the border secured. The WALL Act would fully fund the border wall by closing existing loopholes that provide illegal immigrants with federal benefits and tax credits, without affecting the benefits and tax credits used by Americans.”
This legislation will fully fund the President’s $25 billion 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:
Require welfare applicants (food stamps, TANF, HUD, etc) to verify citizenship:
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 introduced in August, 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. That number is expected to increase.
The Asylum Abuse Reduction Act would:
Require migrants 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:
Create a pilot program for alternatives to detention: