Oct 2 2020

WASHINGTON, D.C. – This week, U.S. Senators Thom Tillis (R-NC), Mike Lee (R-UT), Joni Ernst (R-IA), and Kelly Loeffler (R-GA) sent a letter to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) pushing for additional information regarding certain provisions in H.R. 6800, the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions Act or the HEROES Act, which passed the House in May. Both versions of the HEROES Act, including the one passed yesterday, would make a number of changes to programs and policies, including those regarding access to public benefits for illegal immigrants. 

“As you know, since the beginning of the novel coronavirus pandemic, Congress has taken a number of steps to protect the health, safety, and well-being of American citizens,” wrote the Senators. “We have passed landmark legislation to ensure that private businesses keep American citizens on their payrolls, every single at-risk American receives a stimulus payment, and that states, local governments, and health care providers have the resources they need to combat this pandemic. The swift actions taken by Congress and President Trump have helped minimize the damage caused by this virus and protected the economic livelihood of millions of Americans.”

The Senators continued, “However, there is more still that needs to be done. It is unfortunate that instead of working to help the American people, Speaker Pelosi and her majority in the House of Representatives are taking this opportunity to advance the economic well-being of illegal immigrants. Among other things, H.R. 6800 allows illegal immigrants to claim stimulus payments. In addition, Speaker Pelosi’s bill also provides illegal immigrants with taxpayer funded healthcare services.”

The Senators concluded, “It’s time the American people have a fuller understanding of exactly how much Speaker Pelosi’s policies will cost them. While we have estimates of how much H.R. 6800 may cost in total, we believe Congress must know the costs of the specific provisions providing benefits to illegal immigrants.” 

Read the full letter here and below.

Dear Director Swagel:

We write you today concerning certain provisions in H.R. 6800, the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions Act or the HEROES Act. This bill makes a number of changes to a wide range of programs and policies, including those regarding our nation’s lawful immigration system. We are concerned these changes will not only impose additional fiscal burdens on our nation’s budget but will also incentivize further unlawful immigration. 

As you know, since the beginning of the novel coronavirus pandemic, Congress has taken a number of steps to protect the health, safety, and well-being of American citizens. We have passed landmark legislation to ensure that private businesses keep American citizens on their payrolls, every single at risk American receives a stimulus payment, and that states, local governments, and health care providers have the resources they need to combat this pandemic. The swift actions taken by Congress and President Trump have helped minimize the damage caused by this virus and protected the economic livelihood of millions of Americans.

However, there is more still that needs to be done. It is unfortunate that instead of working to help the American people, Speaker Pelosi and her majority in the House of Representatives are taking this opportunity to advance the economic well-being of illegal immigrants. Among other things, H.R. 6800 allows illegal immigrants to claim stimulus payments. In addition, Speaker Pelosi’s bill also provides illegal immigrants with taxpayer funded healthcare services. 

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, at a time when 20 million hard-working American are out of work and struggling to pay their bills, Speaker Pelosi’s bill gives work authorizations to millions of illegal immigrants. Instead of working to provide jobs to American citizens, the Speaker and the Democratic party are more concerned with putting illegal immigrants to work. That’s simply wrong.

It’s time the American people have a fuller understanding of exactly how much Speaker Pelosi’s policies will cost them. While we have estimates of how much H.R. 6800 may cost in total, we believe Congress must know the costs of the specific provisions providing benefits to illegal immigrants. Accordingly, please answer the following questions by no later than November 10, 2020:

  1. By not requiring an individual to have a valid social security number, potentially millions of illegal immigrants will be able to claim a stimulus payment. How many illegal immigrants will be able to claim payments under this provision? What will the cost of such payments be to the American taxpayer? Finally, if provision were in place to prevent payments to illegal immigrants, how much additional money could be provided to individual American citizens by virtue of these savings?

  2. Several provisions of H.R. 6800 would provide free healthcare services to illegal immigrants? What is the exact cost to the American taxpayer of these provisions? If these provisions were not in place, what types of healthcare services and treatments to American citizens could these funds provide?

  3. Speaker Pelosi’s bill provides work authorization to potentially millions of illegal immigrants. How many illegal immigrants would benefit from this work authorization? What impact would this have on the job market? In other words, how many jobs could these illegal immigrants potentially take from hard-working, out of work American citizens? What is the impact such labor competition would have on the long-term health and economic recovery of American citizens?  

  4. Finally, when considering the answers to the previous three questions, what would the total cost of the immigration provisions in Speaker Pelosi’s bill be to the American taxpayers? What programs or benefits for American citizens would Congress need to cut or offset in order to provide these benefits to illegal immigrants?

Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter.  We look forward to your reply and to gaining a deeper understanding of the cost of these disastrous policies to the American taxpayer.

Sincerely, 

###

Pursuant to Senate Policy, petitions, opinion polls and unsolicited mass electronic communications cannot be initiated by this office for the 60-day period immediately before the date of a primary or general election. Subscribers currently receiving electronic communications from this office who wish to unsubscribe may do so here.