Five GOP lawmakers reintroduced the WALL Act on Tuesday, which would fund the entire wall along the southern border between the United States and Mexico.
In a joint statement, the five Senators — Jim Inhofe, R-OK, Mike Rounds, R-S.D., John Kennedy, R-LA, Ted Cruz R-TX, and Bill Cassidy, R-LA, — argued that now is the perfect time to get the wall funded.
The the WALL Act would provide $25 billion in funding for President Donald Trump’s wall, which experts have argued would fund the entire project.
The legislation also states specific ways the money would be obtained, such as, “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.”
“We need to build the wall,” said Inhofe. “Over the past two weeks, Democrats have refused to secure our border from drugs, human trafficking, and crime all because they are determined to oppose any policy of President Trump—even policies they have supported in the past.”
Inhofe said the Wall Act “fully funds the wall by assessing penalties on illegal immigration and closing loopholes that allow unauthorized immigrants to receive federal benefits, protecting the integrity of hardworking American citizens’ tax dollars. It’s that simple.”
Rounds said the WALL Act “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,” he added. “By funding the wall through increased fines, we prevent any risk of dipping into Department of Defense (DoD) funding, which is already stretched thin.”
Kennedy argued that American taxpayers will save $33 billion.
“If you want to receive food stamps and other benefits, then you should prove your citizenship,” Kennedy said. “If you cross the border illegally or overstay your visit to this country, then you should pay a stiff penalty.”
Cruz said the WALL Act would strongly combat illegal immigration with strong border security, adding that the bill would close “existing loopholes that provide illegal immigrants with federal benefits and tax credits, without affecting the benefits and tax credits used by Americans.”
Last month, Cruz introduced the Ensuring Lawful Collection of Hidden Assets to Provide Order (EL CHAPO) Act on Tuesday, which calls for the use of $14 billion seized from cartel drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman to be used to pay for the wall.
“Fourteen billion dollars will go a long way toward building a wall that will keep Americans safe and hinder the illegal flow of drugs, weapons, and individuals across our southern border,” Cruz stated.
“Ensuring the safety and security of Texans is one of my top priorities,” he added.
Cruz said using criminally forfeited assets from El Chapo and other Mexican cartel members and drug dealers can “offset the wall’s cost and make meaningful progress toward achieving President Trump’s stated border security objectives.”
Trump wants $5 billion for border wall funding and Democrats are only offering $1.6 billion, which they claim is a “very generous” offer and the most they can do.
It’s unclear what might happen next, but Republicans have introduced two bills that would fully fund the president’s border wall.