Opinion| One of the most distressing aspects of Obama’s presidency was his penchant for ignoring the enforcement of laws he didn’t agree with. This included playing fast and loose with the taxpayer’s money.
As far back as October of 2011 Judicial Watch had discovered:
The Obama Justice Department has recently awarded millions of dollars in politically-motivated grants with a chunk of the money going to community groups that help illegal immigrants.
After listing a number of Obama’s other “pet” political groups, JW continued:
“Outrageous as those [awards] may seem, the federal agency charged with enforcing the law and defending the nation’s interests dedicated even more taxpayer money to help illegal aliens in the last few months, JW found.
“Just last month the New York-based Vera Institute of Justice got nearly $3 million for a “legal orientation program” for detained aliens. The group, which gets significant funding from left wing billionaire George Soros, had previously received millions of dollars in federal contracts in the last several years.
“Other open borders groups also got money from the DOJ, including the California-based National Immigration Law Center, which is dedicated to fighting “draconian restrictions on immigrants’ rights” and boasts about having a “strong presence in Washington D.C.” The DOJ gave it $66,000 this year for “immigration-related employment discrimination public education.” Last spring the group got a similar DOJ grant for $65,453.Earlier this year another Golden State group, the California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation, got its first federal grant for $44,000, compliments of the DOJ. The money went to the group’s “Tenemos Derechos” (we have rights) program for immigrant communities and will be applied to “education and enforcement of the anti discrimination provision of the Immigration and Nationalization Act,” according to the grant announcement dug up during JW’s analysis.”
Those expenditures, in violation of federal immigration law, were the equivalent of the administration putting its toe in the water to see what they could get away with.
According to a recent report compiled by the Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI):
The Immigration and Nationality Act, Section 292, states that aliens in removal proceedings “shall have the privilege of being represented (at no expense to the Government).” Immigrant special interest groups, sometimes on behalf of unaccompanied minors, have tried since 1996 to challenge this section, claiming it violates aliens’ rights. Federal courts have always rejected these claims.
The IRLI also found that $3 million grant to the Vera Institute in 2011 grew to more than $300 million.
Obama-era U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), in apparent violation of federal immigration law, awarded multiple high-value contracts, worth over $310 million, to a single nonprofit group in 2015 and 2016.
All of these contracts were awarded for the purpose of providing legal representation to unaccompanied alien children (UACs). UACs are defined as aliens under 18 years of age who have no lawful immigration status in the United States and, supposedly, no parent or legal guardian in the United States available to provide care and physical custody. A significant percentage of UACs (the vast majority of whom are from Central America) have ties to MS-13 or other gangs.
The funds went to the Vera Institute of Justice (Vera), a nonprofit group that provides immigrants with access to legal services. (One of Vera’s former directors, Christopher Stone, also served as president of George Soros’ Open Society Foundations from 2012-2017.) The contracts require Vera to provide “direct legal representation” to UACs, recruit and train pro bono attorneys, and facilitate continued legal representation once a UAC is released to a sponsor – frequently an illegal alien. So far, the federal grants have paid for legal representation of UACs in removal proceedings and removal appeals throughout the nation.
No accounting of the amount of awards to other groups was available.
Is it any wonder why we Congress didn’t pass, and Obama didn’t demand, a single budget in his eight years in office? Expenditures like this are indefensible for a nation that at the same time was adding more than a trillion dollars each year to the debt burden their children will be inheriting.