U.S. Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-Auburn) introduced the No VA Resources for Illegal Aliens Act on Wednesday to prevent the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) from using government resources to take care of illegal immigrants.
Tuberville said the VA is currently using taxpayer dollars to provide health care to illegal immigrants who cross over the U.S.-Mexico border. Earlier this year, an agreement between the VA and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) drew the ire of veteran advocacy group Concerned Veterans for America.
The agreement permits ICE to use the VA's Financial Service Center to process reimbursements to private emergency care providers when immigrants under ice detention require such treatment. The VA told Fox News earlier this month that it has had an agreement with ICE since 2002 to provide processing and that it does not pay for or provide healthcare to those detained at the border.
"Joe Biden is putting illegal immigrants over America's veterans," said Tuberville. "It is outrageous. Our veterans should not be forced to wait in long lines at VA medical centers and clinics to get the care they earned while illegal immigrants waltz across our open border and get taxpayer-funded healthcare they NEVER earned. Our veterans should have the best healthcare we can provide, and illegals who have no right to be in this country don't deserve a dime from the taxpayer. Congress needs to pass this legislation to stop Joe Biden from robbing veterans to pay off illegals."
The bill is also sponsored by Veterans Affairs Committee chairman U.S. Rep. Mike Bost (R-Ill.), who said he's demanded answers from the Biden administration but has "been stonewalled every step of the way."
"Until I get the response our veterans deserve, I'll use every available tool of my chairmanship to end this practice and put our veterans first," he said.
Tuberville also re-introduced an amendment to the SUPPORT Act on Tuesday. The SUPPORT Act aims to address the opioid crisis. The senator's amendment would require the Secretary of Homeland Security to suspend the entry of illegal immigrants into the U.S. It also gives more authority to state attorneys general to hold the Department of Homeland Security accountable for failing to restrict illegal immigration.
Tuberville said this would help relieve the opioid crisis by stopping fentanyl from coming through the border.
The amendment was originally introduced in March but was deemed out of order because it was on a separate topic.
"I'm offering this bill as an amendment to the SUPPORT Act today because I think we must take a good hard look at this," Tuberville said on Tuesday. "We've got to do it. Find[ing] ways to address substance abuse disorders is worthwhile and should be seriously considered by this committee. But unless we do something to address the supply, addiction will only continue and get worse. We will never get out of this epidemic without it. So, every day we leave it open, it's becoming the biggest disaster of our lifetime. And we're in here talking about mental health people working. It is a disaster. I've taught for 40 years and I've never seen the influx of what's happening. Not just in our communities, but in our schools. We wonder why we have problems. It's an absolute disgrace."
These are but the latest measures Tuberville took on the illegal immigration front.
Since being elected in 2020, Tuberville has visited the southern border multiple times. He has also called on the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Refugee Resettlement to abandon a proposed rule about the treatment of unaccompanied immigrant children, which he said would have placed children in the hands of unvetted sponsors.
Additionally, Tuberville has supported or helped introduce several other pieces of immigration legislation, such as the Secure the Border Act, which was passed by the U.S. House earlier this year, and the Empowering Law Enforcement Act, which, if passed, would give state and local law enforcement authority to investigate and detain illegal immigrants inside the United States.
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