WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Senator JD Vance (R-OH) and Representative Kevin Hern (OK-01) introduced the Withholding Illegal Revenue Entering Drug Markets (WIRED) Act.
Based on a similar policy enacted by the state of Oklahoma, the WIRED Act imposes a 10% fee on remittances out of the United States, with the intention of penalizing illicit activity, such as drug and human smuggling. U.S. citizens who wire money out of the country are eligible to receive a refundable tax credit. The funds raised through remittance fees will be directed to a new border enforcement trust fund to better protect and secure our border.
“We cannot stand idly by as illegal immigrants and drug cartels profit from breaking our nation’s laws,” said Senator Vance. “This legislation is a commonsense solution to disincentivize illegal immigration and reduce the cartels’ financial power.”
“Cartels are overjoyed at the Democrats’ border crisis. They enjoy operational control of our southern border, they traffic children and they are killing tens of thousands of Americans every year with fentanyl. As the crisis at our border gets more serious every day, Democrats sit on their hands and ignore it,” said Rep. Hern. “Millions of Americans are in danger. We need every tool in our arsenal to combat the cartels and regain control of our border. This new remittance fee is a financial weapon we can use to target illicit activity funneling money from the US to the cartels while simultaneously supporting our agents down at the border. It’s a small step, but it brings us closer to securing the border and deterring illegal activity.”
The legislation is supported by the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) and NumbersUSA.
Statement of support from FAIR: “We applaud Congressman Kevin Hern and Senator JD Vance for introducing a remittance fee bill modeled on the state of Oklahoma, the only state in the Union that has successfully tapped into the huge outflow of money from illegal aliens. By imposing a 10 percent fee on transfers, the WIRED Act would help fund key border security measures to address the Biden Administration’s border crisis. Every year, the United States loses around 150 billion in remittance payments sent to relatives or friends still abroad by foreign-born individuals here. Addressing the shortfall is critical – jobs have become a huge magnet for illegal aliens and the problem is now worse than ever due to Biden Administration’s open-borders agenda. The WIRED Act would take meaningful steps to stop the flood of illegal immigration and help secure our borders.”
Statement of support from NumbersUSA: “Decades of inadequate enforcement of our immigration laws has resulted in a never-ending wave of illegal immigration to the United States. Illegal aliens come with the expectation that they can work illegally and send money to their home countries, while the Border Patrol and Immigration and Customs Enforcement are far too underfunded and understaffed to stop it. Oklahoma has had success in its own remittance law, taxing those funds as they leave the country. Senator Vance and Congressman Hern’s WIRED Act would build on the success of that law, using those funds specifically to enforce immigration law. NumbersUSA applauds Senator Vance and Congressman Hern for introducing this bill.”