VA’s Funding Shift: Illegals Before Veterans?

The Department of Veterans’ Affairs (VA) is reportedly allocating millions of dollars for medical care of illegal immigrants while facing a backlog of almost 400,000 veterans’ claims. This expenditure is part of a collaboration between the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the VA, as detailed in a July report from ICE and a 2020 memo from the Trump Administration.

Darin Selnick, a former veterans’ affairs advisor and senior advisor to the VA during the Trump Administration, expressed his surprise over this arrangement in a Fox News interview. He stated that if the VA had surplus resources, they should have been directed towards veterans, not another agency.

The ICE report revealed that in the fiscal year 2022, the VA processed medical claims for illegal immigrants totaling over $63.6 million, a figure expected to rise in 2023. This has prompted House and Senate Republicans to propose legislation to prevent the diversion of VA resources to illegal immigrants.

Senator Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) introduced a bill aiming to stop the VA from funding medical care for illegal immigrants. He criticized President Joe Biden for prioritizing illegal immigrants over American veterans. Similarly, Representative Mike Bost (R-IL) introduced a companion bill in the House, emphasizing the need to prioritize veterans.

Earlier this month, the Concerned Veterans of America (CVA) released a statement accusing the VA of misleading and discouraging veterans from utilizing community care options when VA wait time standards are not met.

Senator Steve Daines (R-MT) criticized the Biden Administration at a Republican Senate Leadership press conference, asserting that Biden’s border policies prioritize illegal immigrants over veterans. He called this a disservice to those who have served the country and urged a solution.

The issue of illegal immigration has been highlighted by a record number of crossings into the United States. The Department of Homeland Security recorded more than 225,000 crossings in the first 27 days of December alone.