December 12, 2018

VIDEO: Cassidy Announces Support for New Legislation to Build the Wall

WASHINGTON—U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA), released the following video statement announcing he cosponsored the WALL Act (S. 3713), the first bill that will fully fund the wall along the southern border by identifying specific funding sources.

“Today, I’m announcing my support for the WALL Act, legislation to fully fund a wall along our country’s southern border,” said Dr. Cassidy. “It isn’t just about illegal immigration, although that’s important. And it isn’t just about stopping dangerous gang members from coming to our country—that’s important. It’s also about stopping the flow of drugs coming across our border, killing Americans in communities across the country. That’s particularly important. It’s time we uphold our responsibility to secure the border. It’s a national security priority, it’s a health priority, it should be an American priority. Let’s get it done.”

The Wall Act will fully fund President Trump’s $25 billion border wall while providing specific ways to pay for it:

  • 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 crossers and establishes a minimum penalty for visa overstays.

The bill is also backed by Senators John Kennedy (R-LA), Jim Inhofe (R-OK), Mike Rounds (R-SD) and Ted Cruz (R-TX).