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Tipsheet

Critics Blast Biden Admin Attempt to Use Veteran Resources for Border Crisis

AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File

During his recent testimony before Congress, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas informed lawmakers that the Biden administration was considering diverting resources from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to deal with Biden's border debacle. This includes not just funding but also VA nurses and doctors who are tasked with caring for America's veterans, and who may now be sent to care for illegal immigrants.

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It's a ludicrous idea and a terrible decision that Biden seems ready to make. Veterans' health care has struggled in the past — notably during the last time Biden was in the White House as Vice President in the Obama administration. 

America's veterans deserve the best possible care as a small benefit in return for their service to our country and defense of our freedom. But Biden thinks those who care for veterans can just be shuffled around as his administration flails about trying to handle the border crisis his policies created. One that's about to get much worse if Biden succeeds in terminating Title 42. 

Among those pushing back on the Biden administration's consideration of the plan is Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA). "With a historic crisis at our Southern border, President Biden is pouring gas on the flames with his move to lift Title 42 — a decision his own administration admits will make the situation even worse," Ernst said. "The president taking resources away from our veterans to try and fix the border mess he’s created would be unfair and bad policy, and there’s no way this administration should be allowed to do it," she added.

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 Ernst previously sent a letter with Senator John Boozman (R-AR) to President Biden further explaining Republicans' opposition to the idea that VA personnel would be shifted to address "the inevitable escalation of the border crisis" if Title 42 is lifted:

The VA is currently experiencing major staffing shortages and high workforce turnover rates. The deployment of VA personnel in a ‘Fourth Mission’ capacity will impact veterans' ability to receive timely care from the VA and should not be a consideration while developing your Administration's plan as a result of the failure to implement and maintain commonsense border security policies.

[...]

As you know, the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) reported over 1.6 million border encounters in the Fiscal Year 2021, which is the highest annual total on record. The Title 42 Order has been used over one million times and has been essential for CBP to deny entry to illegal immigrants. Reports indicate that your Administration is aware of the inevitable surge of illegal immigrants once this authority ends…There is bipartisan support in the Senate requesting a detailed plan be made available before revoking this authority. These plans should absolutely not include using the VA's "Fourth Mission."

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In the House of Representatives, Rep. Ashley Hinson (R-IA) has also been a vocal opponent of the Biden administration using VA personnel, including in her recent questioning of Secretary Mayorkas.

 

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