A group of Republican senators have asked the Congressional Budget Office to calculate how much measures in the House stimulus bill that directly benefit illegal immigrants would cost the American taxpayer.
“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,” Sens. Thom Tillis, R-N.C.; Mike Lee, R-Utah; Joni Ernst, R-Iowa; and Kelly Loeffler, R-Ga., wrote in a letter to the CBO's director.
”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," they write.
The HEROES ACT, which passed the House last week, includes a number of items that will benefit illegal immigrants, with a provision that would allows some illegal immigrants — who are “engaged in essential critical infrastructure labor or services in the United States” – to be placed into “a period of deferred action” and authorized to work if they meet certain conditions.
It also grants protections to those employers who hire those undocumented immigrants, ordering that “the hiring, employment or continued employment” of the defined group is not in violation of the Immigration and Nationality Act. That lasts until 90 days after the public health emergency is ended.
It’s language that was also included in the first House Democratic stimulus bill proposed back in May — a bill that was ultimately rejected in the Republican-controlled Senate.
Also in the legislation is language that would allow the a second round of stimulus checks, $1,200 per adults and $500 per dependant, to be extended to those without a social security number — including those in the country illegally who file taxes via an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN).
The senators’ letter also notes provisions that would give health care to illegal immigrants.
“We are concerned these changes will not only impose additional fiscal burdens on our nation’s budget but will also incentivize further unlawful immigration,” they wrote.
Among the questions they have for the CBO is how many illegal immigrants would be able to claim stimulus payments and how much it will cost, and how many illegal immigrants would benefit from the work authorization — and the estimated impact that would have on the job market.
“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,” they said.
President Trump on Tuesday poured cold water on the chance of Republicans and Democrats coming to a deal on stimulus, saying that Pelosi was “not negotiating in good faith.”
“I have instructed my representatives to stop negotiating until after the election when, immediately after I win, we will pass a major Stimulus Bill that focuses on hardworking Americans and Small Business,” he said in a tweet.