US Sen. Mike Rounds introduces new legislation to fully fund border wall

U.S. Sen. Mike Rounds

WASHINGTON – From the office of U.S. Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.D). The senator has joined Sens. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), John Kennedy (R-La.) and Ted Cruz (R-Texas) to introduce a new legislative act to fully fund the border wall along the United States/Mexico border called the WALL Act. This legislation is also the first bill that will fund the wall by identifying specific funding sources for the $25 billion project.

“The primary responsibility of the federal government is the defense of our nation, which includes strong border security,” said Rounds. “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. I thank Chairman Inhofe for his leadership on this effort and I look forward to advancing this proposal in the Senate.”

Included in this legislation:

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 crossings establishes a minimum penalty for visa overstays.

Information from the office of U.S. Sen. Mike Rounds
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