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Ted Cruz on Immigration: GOP Presidential Candidate Seeks End to Federal Immigration Agency's Self-Funding

First Posted: Jun 18, 2015 02:48 PM EDT
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Ted Cruz

Photo : Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, a presidential candidate, introduced legislation to block the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) from using funds for deferred action.

Titled "Immigration Slush Fund Elimination Act," Cruz stated the bill would eliminate the DHS's ability to use its fees "for the provision of legal immigration services to fund amnesty." According to the Republican senator, the legislation would give Congress the authority on the DHS' appropriations process.

"America has always been a land of refuge and opportunity for those seeking freedom, and we should champion legal immigration," said Cruz in statement. "Ronald Reagan referred to legal immigrants, immigrants like my father, as Americans by choice. The federal government should not be in the business of looting the wallets of those who followed the law and came here legally to fund the President's illegal and unconstitutional amnesty."

Cruz added that the bill will "cut off DHS's credit card" and leave Congress in charge of immigration-related funding for the agency.

Must Read: Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson Defends Detention Program 

According to Cruz, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, an immigration-based agency within the DHS, have collected fees -- from its own activities, such as application charges -- to continue immigrant-related services. He noted USCIS Chief Financial Officer Joseph Moore's statement that the agency has more than $1 billion in fee-based funding, and "that it used those funds to pay for an unauthorized amnesty processing center in Arlington, Va."

"Eliminating the ability of USCIS to use the money it collects to support amnesty and other unauthorized activities is a first step toward reining in the executive branch's lawless approach to immigration," stated Cruz's release about the proposed bill.

The Republican presidential candidate said the "Immigration Slush Fund Elimination Act" would grant Congress the authority to power to end USCIS's ability to self-fund. He believes the congressional authority would help restore the Constitution's separation of powers.

"Right now, USCIS has an incentive to process as many immigration benefits as possible, without regard to consequences. While legal immigration should be celebrated and supported, the agency's desire to collect more fee-based revenue -- along with its unrestricted ability to keep and use those fees -- arguably interferes with USCIS's objective review of application processing," the statement continued.

To view the full bill, click here.

Must Read: Sen. Ted Cruz Letter to HHS Inquires Undocumented Immigrant Minors' Health, Safety 

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For the latest updates, follow Latin Post's Michael Oleaga on Twitter: @EditorMikeO or contact via email: m.oleaga@latinpost.com.

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