Hyde-Smith cosponsors bill to prioritize veterans over illegal border crossers

Published 5:00 pm Tuesday, April 26, 2022

U.S. Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.), of Brookhaven, joined Sen. John Boozman (R-Ark.) Tuesday in introducing legislation to stop the Biden administration from diverting funding and resources intended for veterans programs to manage the growing illegal immigration crisis on the southern border.

The bill would prevent the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) from prioritizing the needs of illegal immigrants over the nation’s veterans as the administration expects a surge at the southern border after the Trump-era immigration policy, Title 42, is lifted next month.

“President Biden and his administration refuse to acknowledge that their actions are ruining any semblance of security on our southern border, and ending Title 42 will make the situation worse.  Tapping resources intended for our veterans and their dependents to spend on the administration’s border crisis amounts to one more irrational plan out of this White House,” said Hyde-Smith, who serves on the Senate Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee.  “I’m pleased to join Senator Boozman in trying to stop this affront to our veterans.”

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“Veterans should not bear the burden of President Biden’s disastrous immigration policy.  Moving resources away from serving the needs of our veterans to supporting a foreseeable and avoidable crisis at our southern border is unacceptable.  Our legislation ensures the care and services for the men and women who bravely fought for our country are prioritized over illegal immigrants,” said Boozman, the ranking Republican on the Senate appropriations subcommittee that funds VA programs and a senior member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee.

The already unprecedented influx of illegal crossings is expected to get worse as the Biden administration on May 23 lifts Title 42, the policy implemented in 2020 to allow federal immigration officials to expedite the return of illegal immigrants to their native countries after having crossed the southern border.

This new legislation would keep VA resources off limits as the Biden administration scrambles to identify funding sources to help the U.S. Department of Homeland Security handled an expected 1 million illegal crossings in the first six weeks after Title 42 is ended.

In addition to Hyde-Smith, the bill is cosponsored by Senators Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), John Thune (R-S.D.), Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) and Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.).

The full bill can be read here.