Blackburn questions Veterans Affairs over illegal immigrant use of agency resources

EXCLUSIVE — Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) sent a letter Wednesday to the Department of Veterans Affairs pressing the agency on its use of resources for the healthcare of illegal immigrants.

Veterans Affairs has an agreement with Immigration and Customs Enforcement in which it processes medical claims on the agency’s behalf, but the VA emphasizes it does not provide illegal immigrants healthcare. ICE covers the cost of those claims.

The letter, addressed to Secretary Denis McDonough, expresses skepticism at that statement, asking if the agency checks citizenship status before approving veteran healthcare benefits and whether the Biden administration has given any directive on medical care for those migrants.

Blackburn cited a Department of Homeland Security report on fiscal 2022 that detailed “ICE spent more than $373.5 million on detained noncitizen healthcare.” The report also revealed that the ICE
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