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GOP lawmaker introduces bill to fund border wall by trimming foreign aid

GOP lawmaker introduces bill to fund border wall by trimming foreign aid
© Greg Nash

Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.) introduced a bill Tuesday that would help fund a wall along the U.S. southern border by penalizing countries whose citizens illegally enter the United States.

Under the Fund and Complete the Border Wall Act, countries would be penalized $2,000 in foreign aid for each person who illegally crosses into the U.S. Those funds would then be allocated toward border funding.

In addition to penalizing foreign aid, a fee would be placed on outgoing international wire transfers, and foreign travelers filling out I-94 application forms would see those fees increased from $6 to $25. The new amount would be reallocated with $6 for the Land Border Inspection Fee Account, $9 for the Secure the Southern Border Fund and $10 used for border patrol agents' salaries.

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Border patrol agents' overtime pay would also be restored to the same rate as other Department of Homeland Security law enforcement agencies by making changes to the Fair Labor Standards Act.  

Biggs is also calling for the wall to be built by December 2019, and for a number of environmental laws to be waived to allow construction.

“Border security was one of the primary issues of the 2016 campaign," he said in a statement. "Americans believed us when we promised to build the wall, secure our border, and enforce our laws."

“Even with a Republican-controlled House and Senate, we have failed to secure the funds for the border wall," he added. "In the meantime, our Border Patrol agents suffer demoralizing losses of resources and personnel. Some in Congress view border security as leverage for an amnesty deal, but that would turn a crisis into a catastrophe."