Alabama Bill Would Allow Taxpayers to Donate Portion of Tax Refund to Border Wall

March 22, 2019 Updated: March 22, 2019

Alabama residents are one step closer to being allowed to donate some of their state tax refunds toward the construction of the wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

A bill introduced by Rep. Del Marsh (R-Anniston) passed in the Alabama Senate by a vote of 23-7 on March 21, and has headed to the state’s House of Representatives.

“I thank the Senate for their support on this matter and I look forward to working with the House to give Alabamians a voice and are able to express their desire to support President Trump and stronger border security,” March said in a statement, reported the Yellow Hammer.

The bill (pdf) allows taxpayers to voluntarily give a part of their refund to We Build the Wall, Inc., a nonprofit that aims to raise money for the construction of the wall. People are already able to donate a portion of their refund to areas like the Children’s Trust Fund, Alabama Breast and Cervical Cancer Research Program, and Foster Care Trust Fund.

Senate Democrats attempted to block the bill by organizing a filibuster that started on March 20. When they tried to delay the bill again the next day, Republicans successfully adopted a cloture petition to end the filibuster, reported the news website.

Marsh said, “People I talk to across Alabama are sick and tired of politicians in Washington D.C. talking and nothing being done about the crisis on our borders. This bill is about sending a message to Washington that we support President Trump and his mission to secure our southern border.”

“This bill simply allows citizens, if they choose, to send a message that they want to see our borders secured by sending a portion of their tax refund to donate to build the wall,” he added.

Funds for Wall

The construction of a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border was one of President Donald Trump’s key promises in his 2016 election campaign. On Feb. 15, he declared a national emergency in relation to the ongoing crisis at the southern border, citing the influx of illegal aliens, drugs, and guns into the country.

Trump had previously promised to use his legal national emergency powers if Congress failed to appropriate $5.7 billion for border wall construction as requested by the Department of Homeland Security.

The president received criticism for using his national emergency powers, with opponents saying that he overstepped his power. This has led to multiple lawsuits commenced by nonprofit organizations, including radical leftist groups around the country.

However, Hans A. von Spakovsky, a senior legal fellow from the Heritage Foundation, wrote on Feb. 25, that Trump “acted only after Congress refused to fulfill its duty to protect the country and provide the resources necessary to secure the border.”

“Anyone who believes this isn’t a genuine crisis is ignoring reality. It approaches what many consider an unchecked invasion: thousands of illegal aliens, dangerous criminals, drug smugglers, and sex traffickers crossing the border every day,” Spakovsky wrote in his article.

Marlene Castro, Supervisory Border Patrol Agent, speaks to a group of unaccompanied minors and also two men who crossed the Rio Grande River from Mexico into the United States in Hidalgo County, Texas, on May 26, 2017. (Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)

On March 14, the Senate voted 59-41 on a resolution to terminate Trump’s emergency declaration, where 12 Republicans joined all of the Democrats to pass the measure. The same resolution was already passed in the House on Feb. 26.

Trump subsequently issued the first veto of his presidency on March 15, to override the congressional resolution. He called the resolution “reckless,” adding that, “Today I am vetoing this resolution. Congress has the freedom to pass this resolution and I have the duty to veto it.”

“People hate the word invasion, but that’s what it is,” Trump said, adding that there is “nowhere left to hold all of the people that we’re capturing.”

border security
A girl speaks to a family member at the U.S.–Mexico border in Nogales, Ariz., on May 23, 2018. (Charlotte Cuthbertson/The Epoch Times)

This week, border patrol released 250 migrants and are expected to release hundreds more because of an influx of Central American families causing overcrowding in immigration facilities, reported Los Angeles Times.

Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen warned lawmakers earlier this month that “illegal immigration is simply spiraling out of control and threatening public safety and national security.”

“In February, we saw a 30 percent jump over the previous month, with agents apprehending or encountering nearly 75,000 aliens,” Nielsen told the House Committee on Homeland Security. “This is an 80 percent increase over the same time last year. And I can report today that CBP is forecasting the problem will get even worse this spring as the weather warms up.”

The Epoch Times reporter Ivan Pentchoukov contributed to this report.

Follow Janita on Twitter: @janitakan
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