Published by Chris Pierce
Today, the Republican Study Committee (RSC) released its Fiscal Year 2024 budget proposal. The RSC budget would create a sustainable immigration plan to tackle Biden’s border crisis, curb future illegal immigration, and reform America’s deteriorating legal immigration system – all initiatives proven to boost wages, grow the working and middle classes, and improve the quality of life of all Americans and already present immigrants.
The RSC is headed by Representative Kevin Hern (R-Okla.) and releases an annual budget proposal outlining policy solutions to the nation’s problems; the RSC is the only non-committee congressional group to release a yearly budget proposal.
Additionally, the RSC budget proposal serves as an ambitious to-do list for House Republicans going into an election year.
Thankfully, immigration, border security, and the Biden Border Crisis are mentioned multiple times throughout the fiscal blueprint. Two immigration-related policy goals, separate from the proposal’s dedicated border security section, are highlighted below.
CREATING OPPORTUNITY THROUGH TAX REFORM
Other Conservative Tax Reforms:
End Incentives to Hire Illegal Labor – Congress should also reevaluate tax policies that perpetuate illegal immigration. The RSC Budget would prohibit businesses from deducting wage and benefit compensation paid to illegal immigrants.
OPPORTUNITY THROUGH EMPOWERMENT AND SELF-SUFFICIENCY
Finally, Congress must ensure that those in the country illegally do not collect welfare benefits reserved for American citizens who did not break the law. According to the Center for Immigration Studies, “…66 percent of households headed by non-citizens who do not have a green card, and who are mostly illegal immigrants, have very high welfare use rates — excluding the EITC.” Additionally, this budget applauds Rep. Glenn Grothman’s (R-WI) legislation to promote self-sufficiency among immigrants. Accordingly, the RSC Budget would limit means-tested welfare programs such as Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income, TANF, and SNAP to U.S. citizens and require enrollees to provide verification of their U.S. citizenship.
The proposal continues to explain several other fiscal priorities before dedicating an entire section of the budget to securing America’s borders, protecting the homeland, and prioritizing American workers.
Under the subsection “Secure America’s Borders and Protect the Homeland,” Republican lawmakers proposed several crucial fiscal policy initiatives to help ease the nation’s pain from the Biden Border Crisis.
The RSC enunciates its beliefs and makes its case against the Biden Administration, stating,
The RSC Budget recognizes that U.S. immigration policy should be designed to primarily serve the interest of American citizens, families, and workers. We embrace these principles:
- Immigration policy should protect our national security by protecting the American people from terrorism, cartels, and other threats to their safety.
- Immigration policy should prioritize American workers, help grow our middle class, raise wages, and enhance economic opportunity for all lawful residents.
- Immigration policy should respect the rule of law, along with immigrants that honor our legal immigration processes, rather than incentivize law breaking.
- Immigration policy should aim to assimilate legal immigrants into the American family so they too can take pride in our values, history, and heritage.
Far from anyone’s ideal, President Biden, DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, and Congressional Democrats have embraced the opposite: an illegal open-borders agenda that has created the worst border crisis in U.S. history. In doing so, they have compromised the sovereignty of our nation and blatantly ignored the executive branch’s duty to maintain operational control of the southern border. Examples include the Biden Administration’s moves to terminate existing border wall construction contracts, reinstate Obama-era “catch and release” policies, reverse Trump-era interior enforcement policies, cease the Trump Administration’s Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), and reverse its Title 42 order. Democrats’ open-border policies have made every State a border State. The Biden Administration has even been caught flying illegal immigrants encountered at the border to unsuspecting communities across the country in the dead of night. Communities across the country are dealing with the devastating effects of an open border, such as increased drug trafficking, rampant human trafficking, and the skyrocketing costs of absorbing illegal migrants. Fentanyl overdoses are now the leading cause of death among Americans aged 18-45.
In response to the ongoing calamity at the border, on March 17, 2023, the Republican Study Committee Steering adopted an official position calling for border security legislation that would require the Biden Administration to enforce the law, restore operation control of the border, reform the broken asylum process, end incentives for illegal immigration, improve border infrastructure, build the wall, and combat cartels. The RSC Steering Committee also unequivocally endorsed the impeachment of Secretary Mayorkas. The RSC Budget is supportive of H.R. 2, the Secure the Border Act, which passed the House of Representatives on May 1, 2023.
The RSC budget goes on to highlight some border security legislation that Republican lawmakers in the House of Representatives have already submitted.
The RSC Budget supports Rep. Clay Higgins’ (R-LA) bill, the Finish the Wall Act and Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN) Build the Wall Now Act, which, among other things, would complete wall construction projects proposed by President Trump. The RSC Budget supports Rep. Matthew Rosendale’s (R-MT) REMAIN in Mexico Act to require the Biden Administration to continue implementation of President Trump’s Migrant Protection Protocols. This budget would also implement Rep. Mike Johnson’s (R-LA) bill, the Closing Asylum Loopholes Act, which would increase the “credible fear” standard to reduce fraud in the asylum process and preserve the program for those truly in need. Additionally, the RSC Budget supports hiring more immigration judge teams to handle backlogs and make it easier to secure our borders and ports of entry. The RSC Budget would implement RSC Chairman Kevin Hern’s Withholding Illegal Revenue Entering Drug Markets (WIRED) Act, which would impose a 5% fee on remittances out of the United States, to finance these necessary investments in border security. These remittances are often the result of activities such as drug and human smuggling. Similarly, the RSC Budget applauds Rep. Nathaniel Moran’s (R-TX) Border Security Investment Act, which would impose remittances on payments made to the top five nations of origin for illegal immigration in the United States.
The RSC Budget would prohibit federal funds from going to cities or jurisdictions operating as sanctuaries for illegal immigrants… The RSC Budget also supports legislation allowing illegal alien crime victims to sue sanctuary jurisdictions for damages. The RSC Budget supports Rep. Randy Feenstra’s (R-IA) bill, Sarah’s Law, to ensure that federal authorities can detain until ICE can process them, any illegal alien that commits a crime resulting in another person’s death.
This budget also supports the following common-sense measures to support border security and protect the American homeland:
It is important to note that the RSC budget also supports ending the diversity lottery visa lottery, limiting chain migration to the spouses and children of U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents, supporting the intent of the 14th Amendment by only conferring citizenship, at birth, to someone born of at least one U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident. The proposal also includes provisions to enforce visa limits rigorously and applauds attempts to add bonding requirements to certain visas with high overstay rates.
The RSC budget then moves on to a subsection titled “Prioritizing American Workers,” where Republicans make a case for mandating the use of E-Verify for all employers and “disallow business deductions for wages paid to illegal immigrants.”
Additionally, the budget states:
The RSC Budget would implement common-sense reforms to end corrupt practices in the H-1B Visa program. The RSC Budget would adopt RSC Chairman Jim Banks’ (R-IN) legislation, the American Tech Workforce Act. This bill would make important wage reforms and replace the current lottery system used in the program, which outsourcing firms abuse by flooding the system with applications to make it more likely they receive H-1B slots.
For over 100 years, the “public charge” doctrine has served as a cornerstone of U.S. immigration law that sits at the nexus of welfare reform and immigration policy. According to this deeply embedded principle, the U.S. should deny admission and permanent residence to an individual likely, at any time, to depend upon the government for subsistence.
This budget supports Rep. Bob Good’s (R-VA) Preserving Safety Net Integrity Act, which would codify the Trump Administration’s public charge rule. The budget similarly supports Rep. Troy Nehls’ (R-TX) Congressional Review Act resolution, which would disapprove of Biden’s efforts to undo the Trump Administration’s public charge rule. These reforms are especially important given FAIR’s 2023 cost study which estimates that the annual cost of illegal immigration to taxpayers is $150.7 billion. The RSC Budget also supports amending welfare funding formulas to exclude illegal alien populations when calculating grants given to states. It would ensure all benefit applicants are checked through the federal Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements (SAVE) system before being able to take advantage of a federally funded job training program. Additionally, the RSC Budget supports Rep. Glenn Grothman’s (R-WI) Preventing Illegal Immigrants from Abusing Tax Welfare Act, which would prohibit illegal aliens from receiving a Social Security number under the Obama-Biden executive amnesty program.
NumbersUSA CEO James Massa stated about the proposed RSC budget:
The RSC Budget holistically addresses immigration policy by addressing both illegal and legal immigration issues and concerns.
Regarding illegal immigration, it includes all of the policy tools and enforcement mechanisms needed to end the Biden border surge, protect national security, and reinforce the rule of law. Mandatory E-Verify, asylum reform, the Migrant Protection Protocols, and border enforcement, among other provisions called for by the RSC Budget, are critical to addressing our ongoing illegal immigration crisis.
Importantly, the RSC Budget also addresses our legal immigration system by first recognizing that “U.S. immigration policy should be designed to primarily serve the interest of American citizens, families, and workers.” It recommends eliminating the visa lottery and limiting family-based immigration to the nuclear family—spouses and minor children—of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents. These changes alone would go a long way toward improving the wages and working conditions of the most vulnerable American workers, particularly American minorities. Furthermore, by addressing the well-documented abuses of the H-1B and OPT programs, the RSC Budget would directly benefit recent American STEM college graduates, including those from America’s HBCUs, who too often are pushed aside by tech companies that prefer cheap foreign labor.
Adoption of the RSC Budget would indeed establish a holistic immigration policy that prioritizes “American citizens, families, and workers.”
You can read the entire budget here.
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