In President Trump’s $4.1 trillion budget proposal, there’s money for deportation and return home flights for illegal aliens. At the same time, it proposes major cuts to social safety net programs and deny’s tax breaks to illegal aliens, further supporting immigration enforcement efforts.
The proposal adds a new requirement for taxpayers that claim the child tax credit. The taxpayer must provide a verifiable Social Security number in order to collect. Currently, a Social Security number is only necessary to claim the earned-income tax credit.
White House budget director Mick Mulvaney said he felt taxpayers could be expected to fund deserving families, but not people who don’t qualify for federal refunds. “I can’t do it — to give the earned-income tax credit, which is designed to help folks who work, to somebody who is in the country and working illegally. That’s just not fair,” he said.
In the message accompanying the proposal, President Trump wrote, “In these dangerous times, our increased attention to public safety and national security sends a clear message to the world — a message of American strength and resolve. It follows through on my promise to focus on keeping Americans safe, keeping terrorists out of our nation, and putting violent offenders behind bars.”
The budget includes an increase of almost 7 percent for the Department of Homeland Security, with $2.7 billion requested for border security and immigration enforcement. The administration apparently intends to continue to pursue illegal aliens, supporting current efforts that saw arrests of illegals up by nearly 40 percent over last year.
The budget requests $100 million to the Border Patrol in order to support 20,000 agents as well as recruit and train 500 new agents.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement would receive $185.9 million to hire 850 new immigration officers, 150 criminal investigators, and 805 new support staff members. 125 new ICE lawyers would also be added to aid the federal government in its deportation efforts.
Another $500 million is requested for transportation costs, including flights used to return illegal aliens to their home countries.
Additional jail beds for illegals is proposed the tune of $1.2 billion, but due to low numbers of illegal border-crossers, they may be filled by those who are arrested within the country.
The budget also includes a potential threat to sanctuary cities. A federal law requires local governments to allow their employees to share information about unauthorized immigrants with the federal authorities. The budget includes a provision that would expand that statute, and force local governments to comply with federal detention requests.
Grants from the Justice Department, and Homeland Security, would only be issued to cities that comply.
Current federal law does not require local officials to honor federal immigration detainers, and cities that honor them voluntarily do so.
Another winner for conservatives is a provision in President Trump’s budget that seeks to enhance programs like E-verify, designed to make it difficult for illegal aliens to land a job.
The budget requests $131 million to expand E-Verify, making the system mandatory for employers. Republicans in Congress have already introduced legislation to expand the program.
Conservatives like Dennis Michael Lynch say killing the incentive to come here illegally, and to stay here illegally, starts with removing the free services. DML points out that the U.S. needs to remove things like free healthcare, access to jobs, free schooling, and ending the ability to grab tax money and welfare.
Immigrant advocacy groups say the budget is intended to disrupt life for illegals. “If your single goal is to make life as miserable as possible for those who are here without status, then it’s about as effective as you can get,” said Angela Maria Kelley, senior strategic adviser for immigration at the Open Society Foundation.
Kelly is a former Obama White House immigration official.
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