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Oklahoma senator targets illegal immigrant welfare, tax credits to fund border wall

Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) introduced a bill to fund the southern border wall by cutting down on federal benefits to illegal immigrants. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

An Oklahoma senator introduced a bill Thursday that aims to fund the southern border wall by cutting down on government assistance to illegal immigrants.

Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) announced the WALL Act, which could potentially more than cover the $25 billion in funding needed to complete the border wall, based on Congressional Budget Office estimates.

"We're going to build the wall through new sources of funds by protecting the integrity of hardworking American citizens' tax dollars," Inhofe said in a press release.

Where does the money come from?

Inhofe's bill has proposes three courses of action to fund the wall:

  • Require a work-authorized Social Security number for a person to claim refundable tax credits;
  • Require welfare applicants to verify citizenship; and
  • Increase the minimum fines on those who inter the country illegally.

The proposal would theoretically cut down significantly on the number of illegal immigrants receiving federal benefits.

Currently, a parent can claim the Earned Income Tax Credit or the Child Tax Credit if their child has a Social Security number, and individuals applying for welfare only have to declare citizenship and provide an SSN to get benefits.

Inhofe's bill would prevent undocumented parents from claiming the tax credit based on a child having a Social Security Number, and welfare applicants would have to have a verified, work-authorized SSN and citizenship verified through E-verify.

More than enough funding?

A 2016 CBO report estimated that requiring adults to have a work-authorized SSN to claim the Earned Income Tax Credit could result in an additional $37 billion in revenue over a nine-year period.

"We need to build a wall along the southern border -- President Trump has called for the wall and I agree," Inhofe's statement read. "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."

(H/T The Daily Wire)


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