Wicker, Hyde-Smith say it incentives breaking the law and sends the wrong message as the border crisis lingers.
Last week, it came to light that President Joe Biden is considering a plan that would pay illegal immigrant families who were separated at the border when they crossed into the U.S. outside the law up to $450,000 each.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has filed a lawsuit against the federal government on behalf of some of the illegal immigrants claiming psychological trauma due to the separations. Less than 1,000 claims have been filed to date, yet total settlements could exceed $1 billion if the Biden Administration goes through with their plan
If the payments were to become reality, that would mean these illegal immigrants – non-U.S. citizens – would receive more money from the federal government than a military spouse would receive when their loved one is killed in action defending the nation at home or abroad.
Republicans are expected to file legislation attempting to block the payments. However, given that Democrats control both chambers in Congress and the White House, it is unlikely that such a measure would see the floor.
Both Republican U.S. Senators from Mississippi are voicing their objections to the Biden Administration’s plan.
Senator Roger Wicker told Y’all Politics that this would only exacerbate the crisis at the southern border. He says the President should instead focus on stemming the flow of migrants.
“During the worst border crisis in decades, the last thing this country needs is to use taxpayer funds to add fuel to the fire,” Wicker said. “The Biden Administration should be focused on stopping the flow of people across our border, not giving new incentives to migrants who are considering making the journey.”
Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith sees more problems at the border if this plan is enacted. She called the payments “outrageous” and said it sends the signal that the U.S. has opened its borders.
“It’s truly mindboggling to think the Biden administration wants to give illegal immigrants six-figure payouts for crossing our border illegally—more than what’s offered to the families of our fallen troops,” Hyde-Smith told Y’all Politics. “I, along with hardworking Mississippians and Americans, am still waiting for the President and his administration to disavow these reports. The worst of the President’s ongoing border crisis is yet to come if his administration makes these outrageous payments, which will be seen as another signal that the United States has opened its borders.”
Wicker and Hyde-Smith are not the only Senate Republicans concerned with Biden’s proposal.
On Tuesday, the Senate Judiciary Committee’s 11 Republican Senators wrote to President Biden to oppose his Administration’s reported plan. They wrote that at a time when respect for our country’s immigration laws is at an all-time low, the federal government is now seeking to financially reward aliens who break the nation’s laws.
“These illegal immigrants disregarded our immigration processes, cut in front of those seeking to legally enter our nation, and put children at risk of great personal injury or death by placing them in the hands of abusive smugglers,” the Judiciary Committee Republicans wrote. “Not only would these settlements be breathtakingly unjust and unwise, but they reinforce the conditions that make it easy for the cartels to recruit more people to undertake the treacherous journey to our southwest border, and serve only to encourage more illegal immigration.”
That letter was sent by Senators Marsha Blackburn (TN), John Kennedy (LA), Chuck Grassley (IA), Lindsey Graham (SC), John Cornyn (TX), Mike Lee (UT), Ted Cruz (TX), Ben Sasse (NE), Josh Hawley (MO), Tom Cotton (AK), and Thom Tillis (NC).
On Wednesday, Senators Wicker and Hyde-Smith cosponsored two efforts to block President Biden’s reported plan to spend an estimated $1 billion to provide $450,000 per person in taxpayer money for settlements for illegal immigrants.
The Mississippi Senators are original cosponsors of the Prohibiting Taxpayer Funded Settlements for Illegal Immigrants Act, which was introduced as a stand-alone bill and as an amendment to the FY2022 National Defense Authorization Act.
Senator Steve Daines, R-Mont., authored the legislation, which is also supported by Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Senators Tom Cotton, R-Ark., John Kennedy, R-La., Mike Lee R-Utah, Ron Johnson, R-Wis., Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., Bill Cassidy, R-La., Cynthia Lummis, R-Wyo., Mike Braun, R-Ind., Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., John Hoeven, R-N.D., Todd Young, R-Ind., Pat Toomey, R-Pa., Marco Rubio, R-Fla., Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, John Boozman, R-Ark., Susan Collins, R-Maine, Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., Richard Burr, R-N.C., James Lankford, R-Okla., Roger Marshall, R-Kan., Tommy Tuberville, R-Ala., Jim Risch, R-Idaho, and Mike Crapo, R-Idaho.