The immigration bill passed by the Senate is supposed to provide a “path to citizenship” in exchange for stronger enforcement measures. But, as M. Stanton Evans writes at Investor’s Business Daily, “buried deep within the immigration bill are hidden multimillion-dollar slush funds for left-wing nonprofit groups to provide services to the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants now in the U.S. Once enacted, the slush funds would total almost $300 million over three years and grow over time.”
The 1,100-page proposal is a network of legal requirements and protections, waivers and exceptions, including a new “provisional immigrant” status (the first phase of legalization for illegals), appeals of adverse rulings, stays of deportation, applications for work visas, and countless other such guarantees.
Within this thicket of new rights are features that would vastly increase the flow of immigrants to perhaps 30 million or 40 million over the next decade. One is a set of “chain immigration” clauses, legalizing the spouses and children of illegals.
Another is the Dream Act, fast-tracking legal status for aliens of any age who came here before they were 16 (how this would be proved is not clear). A third is a “blue card” temporary visa that could be converted to permanent status and used by future illegals to get legal in a hurry.
Of course, a Spanish-speaking immigrant would likely know nothing of this maze of loopholes, benefits and protections and would on his own be unable to exploit them. So the bill sets up a fund of $50 million to aid illegals seeking “provisional” status, filing appeals, blocking efforts at deportation, obtaining naturalization, and so on.
The groups receiving the $50 million would be nonprofit “immigrant-serving” organizations whose agents would be paid by the government to guide illegals through the process.
The nonprofit groups aren’t named in the bill, but, according to Evans, they can be deduced.
Foremost among such groups is the National Council of La Raza (meaning “the race,” or alternatively, “the people”), a group that opposes current U.S. immigration laws, defends illegals, and long promoted amnesty measures. It’s also an organization with significant leverage at the Obama White House and its former senior executive helped draft the Senate bill.
La Raza is already a recipient of federal grants and contracts — running at $8 million to $10 million per year — and would arguably be at the head of the line to receive new funding.
A second, allied group, the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund, says it receives no federal money but would likely qualify for subsidies under this legislation.
The bill’s immigration enforcement features includes provisions concerning drunk driving and other violations. According to the bill, two prior convictions of drunk driving would not disqualify an immigrant for legalization. However, a third offense might disqualify the individual from citizenship.
Similar rules apply to counterfeiting or altering passports: three such instances are forbidden, meaning two would be permitted. As to selling or forging materials used in making passports, the bill says 10 such instances are verboten, that nine won’t be a problem.
Another provision would protect aliens who have been “ordered excluded, deported or removed” from the country. Such aliens, under the bill, “may apply for registered provisional status,” and, by this one step, avoid removal.
Pending approval of their applications, the aliens “shall not be considered unlawfully present” unless the Secretary of Homeland Security says so. This is unlikely, at best.
The secretary, or an immigration judge, could stop deportation of illegals on humanitarian or family-unity grounds or simply in “the public interest” if they decide to do so. “Public interest” is essentially undefined in the legislation.
As Senator Jeff Sessions said, “Such open-ended waivers could all but ensure mass litigation and the end of immigration enforcement.”
Evans explains that the bill goes beyond amnesty and guarantees sanctuary and safe havens for illegals. It also provides ways for illegals who get arrested to be released. “Detainees, who cannot get a bond, can be turned over to ‘secure alternative’ providers until they get a hearing.”
These “secure alternatives” turn out to be, once more, “non-governmental community-based organizations” that would provide “community-based supervision programs” for detainees. So the nonprofits that get the federal funding could also get custody of their clients.
The legislation also creates a “New Immigrant Council” that includes representatives of nonprofits “with legal and advocacy experience working with immigrant communities,” to “introduce and integrate” new immigrants “into the state.”
The bill authorizes an additional $100 million — $20 million a year for five years — to finance these efforts. Thus a second slush fund is created.
A third grant program appears in a later section, funding an outreach “campaign” to inform immigrants and the public about employee “rights, responsibilities and remedies” in the legislation. This recruitment project too would be contracted to nonprofits, at a cost of $120 million — $40 million a year over a three-year span.
Evans points out that “while the Senate bill is advertised as a ‘tough, conservative’ measure, the largely unnoticed sanctuary funding and La Raza clauses may be the real point of the legislation.”
In light of what is in this bill, how could any Republican vote for this?