The Department of Veterans’ Affairs (VA) is funding millions of dollars in medical care for illegal immigrants while almost 400,000 veterans’ claims are currently backlogged.
Florida’s 1.4 million veterans want to know why the VA is reportedly using their resources on illegal immigrants. Congress appropriates funds to the VA in order to provide services to our veterans, not illegal immigrants who break our laws.
— Congressman Greg Steube (@RepGregSteube) December 14, 2023
The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) works with the VA to provide medical claims reimbursements to illegal immigrants, according to a July report from ICE. This arrangement was outlined in a 2020 memo during the Trump Administration.
However, according to a Fox News interview with Darin Selnick, who served as the veterans’ affairs advisor and senior advisor to the VA during the Trump Administration, this arrangement was not well-known among officials.
“In my position, we would have stopped this, because if the VA had the extra ability to do this, then they should have been doing it for the veterans and not for another agency,” he told Fox News.
According to the ICE report, in fiscal year 2022, the VA processed more than $63.6 million dollars in medical claims for illegal immigrants, which is expected to increase in 2023.
House and Senate Republicans are now focused on introducing legislation to prevent these resources from being used for illegal immigrants.
Earlier this month, Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) introduced a bill to prevent the VA from funding medical care for illegal immigrants.
“Joe Biden is putting illegal immigrants over America’s veterans,” Tuberville said in a statement. “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.”
That is why I introduced the “No VA Resources for Illegal Aliens Act." pic.twitter.com/hOedcRhcdm
— Coach Tommy Tuberville (@SenTuberville) December 13, 2023
The companion bill was introduced in the House by Rep. Mike Bost (R-IL), who says, “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.”
Also earlier this month, the Concerned Veterans of America (CVA) released a statement criticizing the VA and outlining how FOIA documents show that the VA is “misleading and discouraging veterans from using their community care options when the VA can’t meet wait time standards.”
At the Republican Senate Leadership press conference this month, Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT) called out the Biden Administration, stating that “Biden’s border crisis puts illegal immigrants first, it puts our veterans last … This is a disservice to all those who have sacrificed and served our country. We as Republicans want to solve this problem.”
Illegal immigrant crossings in the United States reached a record high in the month of December, with more than 225,000 crossings recorded by the Department of Homeland Security in the first 27 days of December.