Washington, DC – President Joe Biden’s administration is planning to divert Veterans Affairs (VA) resources to help care for the tens of thousands of illegal immigrants at the U.S. border with Mexico even though the current average wait time for a veteran to see a doctor is 22 days.
U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas confirmed to the House Appropriations Committee on Wednesday that there was a plan in place to send doctors and nurses who were supposed to be taking care of U.S. military veterans to help with the border crisis, FOX News reported.
The Biden administration has been preparing for an expected spike at the border when they lift Title 42, a measure put in place by former President Donald Trump’s administration to allow for immediate deportations because of the pandemic.
A judge on Tuesday told the White House that Title 42 could not be lifted until a plan had been negotiated with border states to deal with the inevitable surge at the border, FOX News reported.
The Biden administration announced that Title 42 would be lifted by May 23 and claimed the measure had contributed to the crisis at the border.
GOP senators rallied quickly earlier this week to propose legislation that would block the White House from rededicating VA funds to illegal immigrants, FOX News reported.
U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-Arkansas) introduced legislation on April 26 that would “prohibit the use by the Department of Veterans Affairs of funds to provide emergency assistance at the southern border of the United States resulting from the repeal of certain public health orders, and for other purposes.”
“Veterans should not bear the burden of President Biden’s disastrous immigration policy,” Boozman told FOX News in a statement. “Moving resources away from serving the needs of our veterans to supporting a foreseeable and avoidable crisis at our southern border is unacceptable.”
“Our legislation ensures the care and services for the men and women who bravely fought for our country are prioritized over illegal immigrants,” the statement continued.
U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-Florida) has also been a vocal opponent of reallocating VA resources.
“It’s despicable that the Biden administration would prioritize resources for illegal immigrants over the veterans who bravely served our country,” Rubio told FOX News. “This bill would ensure that VA resources are not diverted to deal with the administration’s growing border surge.”
U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Mississippi) called the proposal “irrational.”
“President Biden and his administration refuse to acknowledge that their actions are ruining any semblance of security on our southern border, and ending Title 42 will make the situation worse,” Hyde-Smith said.
“Tapping resources intended for our veterans and their dependents to spend on the administration’s border crisis amounts to one more irrational plan out of this White House,” she said.
Last week, Boozman and several other GOP senators sent a letter to the Biden administration warning that using VA funds to fill the gap caused by the removal of Title 42 did not fall under the VA’s “Fourth Mission” that deals with homeland security, national security, and natural disasters.
The letter said the Fourth Mission “is not a tool to clean up the mess from a foreseeable and avoidable crisis, especially while the VA is already experiencing record-high turnover rates and issues of workforce resiliency among its health care employees,” according to FOX News.
Fifty GOP House members have also expressed displeasure with the plan to shift VA funds and resources.
“Moving VA medical staff away from our veteran’s health care needs to examine illegal immigrants is a recipe for disaster,” the members said in a letter to the Biden administration earlier this month.
“Wait times for a veteran to see their doctor can average 22 days and reach as high as 42 days. This is unacceptable mismanagement of federal government resources by the Biden administration,” the letter concluded.