By Joe Guzzardi
July 24, 2013
The fraud and abuse potential in the Senate’s Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act, S. 744, is so great that I could write about it every day until Christmas. To its never-ending shame, the mainstream media has covered virtually none of S. 744’s flaws instead preferring to tout advocates’ unconvincing arguments in the bill’s support.
Try this outrage on for size. While the Senate was writing the bill, several prominent pro-immigration lobbyists had a seat at the table. Most influential was the National Council of La Raza, more informally known simply as La Raza.
Cecilia Munoz, President Obama’s domestic policy director and the leading White House staffer on immigration issues, supervised a team of executive branch bill-drafters ensconced in the Dirksen Senate Office Building. Before accepting her White House job, Munoz was, conveniently, a senior policy analyst at La Raza.
The Senate bill’s avowed primary purpose is to provide legal status and eventual citizenship for 11 million illegal aliens in exchange for future tough new enforcement measures that limit illegal immigration. The House is now considering parts of S. 744.
Buried deep within the bill, however, and virtually unknown to the public are two hidden multimillion-dollar slush funds for left-wing nonprofit groups like La Raza, Casa de Maryland and the American Immigrant Lawyers Association to provide services to those 11 million illegal immigrants and others who may follow.
Once enacted, the slush funds would total almost $150 million over the first three years and could grow incrementally to $300 million as more taxpayer dollars are poured into them. Although grant recipients would have maximum flexibility in how they use the funds, there would be no oversight or audit provisions.
The monies would be designated for, to quote the bill’s exact, all-encompassing language, “public or private, non-profit organizations…" including "a community, faith-based, or other immigrant-serving organization whose staff has demonstrated qualifications, experience, and expertise in providing quality services to immigrants, refugees, persons granted asylum, or persons applying for such statuses."
La Raza already receives federal grants and contracts, totaling nearly $10 million per year, and would likely top the list of new funding recipients. Given that La Raza opposes enforcing current U.S. immigration laws, defends illegal immigrants, lobbies on behalf of more alien entitlements, and is a long standing proponent of amnesty, making such organizations more influential by adding millions to their coffers diminishes the chances of the true immigration reform Americans want.
Since the 1,100-page bill is a maze of waivers and exceptions, analyzing the fine legislative print to determine which organizations should receive funding, how much funding they should get and what the approved end purposes of the money will be will require many layers of lawyers.
In the name of sequestration, 60,000 homeless veterans are losing HUD housing aide and 77,000 veterans have had their military-to-civilian job transition training programs eliminated. Yet suddenly, tens of millions would be made available to radical, anti-America groups.
In today’s America catering to open borders advocates, S. 744’s purpose, is more important than caring for American veterans.
Joe Guzzardi is a Californians for Population Stabilization Senior Writing Fellow whose columns have been syndicated since 1986. Contact him at [email protected]