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Sunday, June 16, 2024 - 12:51 AM

INDEPENDENT CONSERVATIVE VOICE OF UPSTATE SOUTH CAROLINA

First Published in 1994

INDEPENDENT CONSERVATIVE VOICE OF
UPSTATE SOUTH CAROLINA

Illegals Thriving on Our Tax Dollars

Illegals Thriving on Our Tax Dollars

While the Biden administration has allowed millions of immigrants to pour into our country, they are also paying others to facilitate the influx under the guise of “humanitarian aid”. Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are receiving billions of taxpayer dollars that reward the cartels for smuggling children across the border and help in criminal activity. Some members of Congress are working to defund these programs. 

Sadly, unaccompanied children have been pushed across the border by desperate parents and evil cartels. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) reported that over 700,000 unaccompanied children (UC) have been placed in the care of HHS’s Office of Refugee Resettlement since the program’s creation in 2012. Initially, the $1.8 billion program served 8,000 UCs annually in the first 9 years, but that number dramatically increased to nearly 119,000 UCs last year.  This humongous increase has inflated their expected budget for 2024 to an expected $7.3 billion. The program provides education, healthcare, case management, recreation, and unification services within their facilities.  But these payments actually encourage parents to send their children across the border in the hands of abusive ‘coyotes’ and potential sex traffickers.

But that is not all these NGOs are getting paid to provide. In a Power Point presentation obtained by America First Legal, line items such as “pet therapy” and “people-plant interactions” were on the list of services provided by our taxpayer money. One organization, Endeavors, which obtains 99.6% of its funds from federal grants, paid a music therapist $533,000, doled out $1.4 million for their employees to attend conferences, and $4.6 million for “consulting services.” It seems that the $700,000 given to lobbyists to get money from an Administration handing out massive amounts of cash was money well spent!

Charles Marino, former advisor to Secretary Janet Napolitano in Obama’s Department of Homeland Security was taken aback himself. He stated to The Free Press:

The amount of taxpayer money they are getting is obscene. We’re going to find that the waste, fraud, and abuse of taxpayer money will rival what we saw with the Covid federal money.

As The Free Press report points out, the salaries for many of these NGOs are astronomical. Southwest Key, one such group, has spent $465 million on payroll in 2022, despite the fact that they have been implicated in a number of scandals including misuse of federal funds and even sexual abuse of children in their care.  Endeavors, another NGO, increased its payroll to $150 million in 2022, up from just  $20 million in 2018.

This isn’t just a domestic effort. The United Nations has stepped into the arena. Their “Regional Refugee and Migrant Response Plan” encourages NGOs to hand out $1.6 million in food, clothing, healthcare, housing, and even cash to illegal immigrants in 2024 alone. One of the 200 organizations that the UN has called upon to continue this agenda is the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS). Despite their name, they aren’t just helping Hebrew immigrants. For 2024, they have pledged $17.1 million to help immigrants from seven Latin American countries. In 2022, a whopping 47% of their funds came from grants from the Department of State and Department of Homeland Security — the very agencies that are supposed to keep our borders secure.

In the past, Congress has considered legislation to defund UN programs that incentivize illegal immigration. In 2021, Representative Lance Gooden (R-TX) introduced the No Tax Dollars for the United Nation’s Immigration Invasion Act (H.R. 6155) which prohibited tax dollars from funding several global immigration initiatives. Three years later, the tone has significantly changed. Despite the House-passed Secure the Border Act (H.R. 2) cutting funds for these types of efforts, the U.S. Senate tried to move a bill in February funding immigration NGOs to the tune of $1.4 billion. Fortunately, the Senate did not succeed.

Rep. Gooden didn’t stop his efforts though. In 2022, he sent a letter to Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas to access all records related to border security policies set forth by DHS. After no response, he sent request after request in the following years. Meanwhile, other Congressmen have drafted letters to Catholic Charities, Jewish Family Service, and Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service asking for their records. Catholic Charities receives “more than half a billion dollars” from the federal government annually, Jewish Family Service received nearly $6 million in 2023, and Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service Services received $15.9 million in 2022.

It is unconscionable that our tax dollars are being used to underwrite the trafficking of children.  The entire Unaccompanied Children program is rife with problems including no ability to verify the age of UCs and no mandatory background checks on the ‘sponsors’ in whose care the government places these kids. “Ultimately, the responsibility is on the government. But the oversight is obviously not adequate — from the contracting to the care of the children to the vetting of the sponsors. All of it is inadequate. The government blames the contractor and the contractor blames the government, and no one is held accountable,” a federal employee who worked at a youth detention facility told The Free Press.

While we watch the Biden administration’s refusal to close the border, Congress has a chance to defund outside groups that are aiding and abetting this illegal activity. If members of the House Appropriations Committee are looking for ways to cut federal spending, this should be at the top of their list.