MAY 8, 2013
Immigration bill contains slush funds for pro-amnesty groups
Groups that helped craft bill to receive taxpayer dollars
WASHINGTON, DC – The pro-amnesty lobbyists who helped craft the Schumer-Rubio immigration bill included within the bill two “slush funds” amounting to $150,000,000 that may be supplemented with additional taxpayer dollars for years to come. Slush fund grantees are “public or private, non-profit organizations” described in the bill as including “community, faith-based or other immigrant-serving” organizations. In other words, the grantees would include many of the groups involved in writing and promoting the amnesty.
“Considering that millions of dollars will go to groups like La Raza, Casa de Maryland, and the American Immigration Lawyers Association, it’s not surprising that these groups are cheerleaders for the Schumer-Rubio bill,” said Jon Feere, Legal Policy Analyst at the Center for Immigration Studies.
Section 2537 of the Schumer-Rubio bill provides “Initial Entry, Adjustment, and Citizenship Assistance” grants to public and private, non-profit organizations that promise to help illegal immigrants apply for the amnesty. For example, this includes help with “completing applications”, “gathering proof of identification”, and “applying for any waivers”. But the recipients of these funds are given a lot of discretion, as the funds can also be used for “any other assistance” that the grantee “considers useful” to aliens applying for amnesty. The bill appropriates $100,000,000 in grant funding for a five-year period ending in 2018, plus any additional “sums as may be necessary for fiscal year 2019 and subsequent fiscal years.”
Section 2106 of the Schumer-Rubio bill creates the “Grant Program to Assist Eligible Applicants” and the funds also go to public and private non-profit organizations. The grants are to be used for promoting the amnesty through public information campaigns and helping illegal immigrants with the application process. Similar to the section above, the funds can be used for providing “any other assistance” that the grantee “consider[s] useful” in helping illegal immigrants apply for legal status. The bill grants the DHS Secretary authority to “use up to $50,000,000” to fund the grants.
Despite providing much flexibility to the grant recipients, the bill does not include any audit or oversight provision for these funds.
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View the Senate bill, CIS Senate testimony and commentary.