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senate Bill S. 3713

Cutting $25 Billion in Welfare & Tax Credits From Unauthorized Immigrants to Pay for the Border Wall

Argument in favor

Building a southern border wall was one of the president’s major campaign promises, and this bill enables the government to fulfill that promise. Securing the southern border will make the U.S. safer, and ensuring that only legal residents can access tax credits and welfare ensures that America’s prosperity is reserved for Americans.

Tom's Opinion
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12/30/2018
Why should illegal immigrants receive public assistance in the first place. Take away public assistance and you take away the incentive to come to our country
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George's Opinion
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12/30/2018
Cut everything from illegal aliens: hospitals, education including universities, welfare, tax breaks. If we do this they will have no desire to come to the USA illegally. Time to stop the Democrat plan for illegal votes with their illegal sanctuary cities. The USA only has an obligation to its citizens. For all of the liberal democrats wanting to help these people, there are foundations and sponsorships available where you can use YOUR money and not other peoples money. I have dozens of relatives from nations much worse off than Mexico who would love nothing more than to live and work in the USA, but they are applying and moving through the process legally. No one should be allowed to skip the process.
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12/30/2018
Pass S. 3713 to build the wall and stop encouraging illegal aliens by giving away our tax dollars to them! We should not be giving welfare and other benefits to illegals!
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Argument opposed

A physical border wall isn’t a smart strategy for securing the southern border, and it’s not sensible to spend billions on dollars on something that won’t solve the problem. It’d be better to invest border security funding on things that actually work to secure the border.

Bob's Opinion
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12/30/2018
Don't understand what this is for since they have no research or proof that any undocumented worker is on government subsistence. There is another hidden purpose of this bill!
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Leona's Opinion
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12/30/2018
There is no evidence that “illegal” immigrants are on welfare, let alone there being enough of them for the federal government to "save" $25 billion so they can put it towards a wall. This bill, much like this current administration, is not based in reality.
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Chickie's Opinion
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12/30/2018
No Wall. No taxpayer monies for The Wall. #45 is currently saying the construction of The Wall has already begun. This is a LIE! The border had maintenance performed on parts of the fencing, as well as training and/or retraining of border personnel. Construction of The Wall has not, is not, should not, happen.
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bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The house has not voted
  • The senate has not voted
    IntroducedDecember 5th, 2018

What is Senate Bill S. 3713?

This bill, the WALL Act of 2018, would make $25 billion available to fully fund the construction of a border wall by reducing spending on welfare and tax credits for unauthorized immigrants in the U.S.

In order to free up money for the border wall, this bill would make two changes to current tax and welfare policy by tightening requirements for certain benefits. Specifically, it would:

  • Require a work-authorized Social Security Number (SSN) to claim refundable tax credits, such as the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). Currently, only the child needs a SSN — the parent benefiting from the EITC doesn’t require an SSN. This bill would require the parent benefitting from the EITC to have a valid work-eligible SSN.

  • Require welfare applicants applying for food stamps, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), and Housing and Urban Development (HUD) programs to verify citizenship. Currently, someone only needs to “declare” citizenship and provide a SSN to receive some of these benefits. This bill would enhance citizenship verification prior to granting benefits by using E-Verify and requiring a work-authorized SSN for eligibility.

To raise additional funds, this bill would also increase minimum fines on illegal border crossers to no less than $3,000 and no more than $10,0000. It’d also establish a minimum penalty for visa overstays, subjecting visa overstayers to a civil penalty of $50 for each month they overstay their visa.

Impact

Unauthorized immigrants; illegal border crossers; visa overstayers; Social Security Administration; SNAP; TANF; HUD programs; food stamps; and E-Verify.

Cost of Senate Bill S. 3713

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable. However, the nonpartisan Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) estimated that this bill would save $33.5 billion over the ten-year period from 2019-2028.

More Information

In-DepthSen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK) introduced this bill to fully fund the border wall Trump promised during his presidential campaign:

“President Trump has called for a border wall and I agree. 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.”

In an interview with Breitbart News, Sen. Inhofe said this bill would fulfill President Trump’s promises to both fund and build his southern border wall and have Mexico, or Mexican illegal immigrants, pay for it:

“Here’s the fun part: you’re taking the money out of people that are not entitled to something from this country, but there has been a lot of criticism of the president that it [the wall] is going to be paid for by Mexico. Well, this is. This is paid for by Mexicans or by foreigners who are in here fleecing our government. So you can say to simplify it: it’s paid for by Mexicans because most of them who are coming in are coming even if they are not Mexicans, are coming through the Mexican border… We were collectively working on it, and, as everyone knows — and I agree — we need the wall, and you have to pay for the wall. We have an unfriendly Democratic party on the wall issue, and so our thinking was that we have to come up with some way that makes perfectly good sense to the American people that would be opposed by the Democrats but would also be very hard to oppose it… Second, essentially, what we do is take those benefits that are going to illegals, and in other words, people that are not citizens and those are the ones that are cheating our taxpayers, taking the money, and instead of giving it to them, we are keeping it for ourselves to build the wall. Now, it works out that this is as an example, a Child Tax Credit or other similar tax credits, actually go to the child and don’t go to the parent; the parent is the one that ends up getting the money.”

Original cosponsor Sen. Mike Rounds (R-SD) adds that this bill doesn't risk stretching existing agency budgets:

“The primary responsibility of the federal government is the defense of our nation, which includes strong border security. 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 the Department of Defense (DOD) funding, which is already stretched thin.”

During his Breitbart interview, Sen. Inhofe said that President Trump expressed support for this legislation during a meeting between the two. According to Inhofe, Trump thought highly of the bill and subsequently asked his staff to investigate the idea.

Broadly speaking, Democrats are opposed to Trump’s proposal to build a wall along the southern border. In the final days of 2018, Democrats refused to meet Trump’s request for $5.7 billion for the wall, offering only the current $1.3 billion in annual funding for border fencing instead. Due to the impasse, Congress was unable to pass a budget bill, and the government entered a partial shutdown at midnight on Friday, December 21, 2018.

Prior to December 2018, Democrats had previously offered Trump money for the border wall — including a bipartisan Senate proposal giving $25 billion for the border wall in exchange for protections for DREAMers — in exchange for broader immigration reforms, only to see Trump blow up negotiations for hardline demands, such as cutting legal immigration levels.

In explaining his party’s opposition to border wall funding, Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) called the wall a “fourth-century strategy”:

“Thirty-foot concrete wall, 30-foot steel spikes, that's not the smart way, and that's what all the experts on the border tell us… The American people want us to spend money in a smart way…. “$5 billion is a lot of money. That's 650,000 children attending Head Start. It's 2 million meals a day for a year — for a year for — for seniors. And to spend it on a fourth-century strategy rather than on stuff that actually improves border security is something we're just not going to do… The president has a lot of money we gave him last year for border security and he's not using it… We have a plan, a bipartisan plan, that's on the table. We have the 2013 plan that passed by a supermajority in the Senate that would address the vast bulk of these issues. So, we're ready for a broader discussion. The president hasn't been there.”

Several conservative groups have questioned a border wall’s true effectiveness if it isn’t combined with more interior enforcement, worker verification protections, and greater restrictions on asylum. The Center for Immigration Studies, FAIR, and NumbersUSA, who have long advocated for tightening immigration controls, have expressed particular concern about guest worker programs. NumbersUSA’s deputy director, Chris Chmielenski, points out that a wall alone won’t end illegal immigration:

“The border wall alone isn’t going to end illegal immigration… [A] border wall… will have very little if any impact on deterring future illegal immigration but in return you’re increasing guest workers programs. For us, that’s not a great trade off.”

This bill has been referred to the Senate Finance Committee with the support of four cosponsors, all of whom are Republicans. No organizations have made formal statements of support for this legislation.


Of NoteThis bill is designed to complement the Asylum Abuse Reduction Act, which Sen. Inhofe introduced in August. That bill seeks to address immigration loopholes to improve the asylum process’ integrity.

According to a CBO report in December 2016, requiring EITC and child tax credit claimants to have social security numbers that are valid for employment could have saved the government as much as $37.4 billion dollars over the 2017-2026 period. This is because currently, some people who aren’t authorized to work in the U.S. can receive the ETIC because they were issued SSNs before 2003 due to the need to have them to obtain drivers’ licenses and open bank accounts. The Social Security Administration (SSA) no longer issues SSNs for those purposes, but the SSNs issued before 2003 couldn’t be rescinded.


Media:

Summary by Lorelei Yang

(Photo Credit: iStockphoto.com / CampPhoto)

AKA

WALL Act of 2018

Official Title

To appropriate $25,000,000,000 for the construction of a border wall between the United States and Mexico, and for other purposes.

    Why should illegal immigrants receive public assistance in the first place. Take away public assistance and you take away the incentive to come to our country
    Like (232)
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    Don't understand what this is for since they have no research or proof that any undocumented worker is on government subsistence. There is another hidden purpose of this bill!
    Like (366)
    Follow
    Share
    There is no evidence that “illegal” immigrants are on welfare, let alone there being enough of them for the federal government to "save" $25 billion so they can put it towards a wall. This bill, much like this current administration, is not based in reality.
    Like (254)
    Follow
    Share
    No Wall. No taxpayer monies for The Wall. #45 is currently saying the construction of The Wall has already begun. This is a LIE! The border had maintenance performed on parts of the fencing, as well as training and/or retraining of border personnel. Construction of The Wall has not, is not, should not, happen.
    Like (161)
    Follow
    Share
    Cut everything from illegal aliens: hospitals, education including universities, welfare, tax breaks. If we do this they will have no desire to come to the USA illegally. Time to stop the Democrat plan for illegal votes with their illegal sanctuary cities. The USA only has an obligation to its citizens. For all of the liberal democrats wanting to help these people, there are foundations and sponsorships available where you can use YOUR money and not other peoples money. I have dozens of relatives from nations much worse off than Mexico who would love nothing more than to live and work in the USA, but they are applying and moving through the process legally. No one should be allowed to skip the process.
    Like (113)
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    Read. My. Lips. NO BORDER WALL EVER! Waste of taxpayer dollars. Impeach him and be done with his destruction of America!
    Like (112)
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    Pass S. 3713 to build the wall and stop encouraging illegal aliens by giving away our tax dollars to them! We should not be giving welfare and other benefits to illegals!
    Like (85)
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    It's appalling that the same people that say we give government way to much leeway and funding are willing to give this already proven corrupt administration 5 billion dollars for a political disaster. Seems as though trying humanitarian efforts would not only save money and lives but be politically good for Trump. If there is one thing Trump needs it's something good that he can be credited for taking part in.
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    Just no. The border wall is the dumbest tantrum we’ve had to live through with this administration so far. The wall isn’t even going to be effective for the ‘problem’ racists are building it for. Most people that aren’t authorized to be here came here legally and overstayed visas. Not to mention all of the edges of this country that are along the water, all of the airports that accept international flights, etc. Immigration laws in this country definitely need to be looked at strongly (preferably by people who are smart and not racist) but this is just a waste of money.
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    P.S. CHICKIE & HILLARY...... YOU ARE BOTH SO VERY WRONG.... IT’S THE DEMOCRATS WHO DON’T CARE. 👍🏻 SENATE bill S.3713 AKA the WALL Act of 2018 👍🏻 I’m in strong support and recommend the passage of this SENATE bill S. 3713 AKA the WALL Act of 2018, would make $25 billion available to fully fund the construction of a border wall by reducing spending on welfare and tax credits for unauthorized immigrants in the U.S. Building a southern border wall was one of the president’s major campaign promises, and this bill enables the government to fulfill that promise. Securing the southern border will make the U.S. safer, and ensuring that only legal residents can access tax credits and welfare ensures that America’s prosperity is reserved for Americans. SneakyPete.......... 👍🏻S. 3723👍🏻. 12*30*18..........
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    Until illegal immigration at our southern border is stopped, all aid payments to Mexico, Central and South America get diverted to building a border wall.
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    Yes. They shouldn't be receiving those services anyway.
    Like (45)
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    We should do this regardless of the wall. It is time to stop the gravy-train. Anyone here illegally should not benefit from a system they became part of illegally. Stand in line, and come here legally.
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    Find the funding from whatever source can legally be used. Welfare for illegal aliens is a prime source. They are criminals who have violated United States laws; why should they be rewarded for that when legal citizens are not being helped. #MAGA #Build the wall
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    Just another pathetic attempt at sowing discord amongst the populace over straw men. What’s most pathetic is that it works.
    Like (35)
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    So “Mexico is paying for the wall.”
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    Why are we giving any benefits to those who are not citizens
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    First, this is simply unAmerican. Second, this is a bill proposed simply to appease trump and his minimal base. Finally, it is unfathomable that illegal immigrants utilize $25 billion in public assistance. It seems convenient, since that is the exact dollar amount needed to fund trump’s wall. No taxpayer funds for his wall; this bill will still utilize our hard earned money, regardless of where the government is getting the money. Hopefully no Congress member that votes to approve this bill had an immigrant grandparent or great grandparent that ever utilized government assistance, even during and following the Great Depression. Finally, if an immigrant is escaping poor and dangerous living conditions, then how would said immigrant afford a $10,000 fine? Start using some common sense. Again, no use of taxpayer funds for trump’s wall, ever!
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    UNDOCUMENTED PEOPLE DO NOT RECEIVE ANYTHING FROM OUR GOVERNMENT. They WORK & PAY TAXES, but receive NOTHING BACK FOR THAT EXCEPT DENIGRATION. Inhofe knows that too. He’s inflaming the people who don’t do research, only watching Fox/Fake News.
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    To be honest, I thought the federal government already required proof of citizenship for those welfare programs. If you have a vested interest in the survival of the welfare programs involved, several things must happen. - They must be economically viable, even the warmest of intentions must be paid for. Some restrictions have to be in place. - Trust in government is an asset that gets eroded every time abuse, and waste happen, if people don’t trust their government they avoid paying taxes. - If there is one universal is that no one likes a cheater (yes even liberals feel this way). - if the intention is to create a welfare program for the undocumented, then enshrine that into law, California did it.
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