With U.S. Distracted, Biden Admin Quietly Funds Open Borders Allies
Amid the prospect of a possible government shutdown over the fiscal 2024 budget, the Biden administration’s U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recently announced $22 million in grants for organizations to “help prepare lawful permanent residents for naturalization.”
The announcement drew little attention. After all, helping legal immigrants become citizens hardly seems scandalous, compared with the crises Biden’s Department of Homeland Security has created. However, several organizations receiving money from USCIS through these grants actively prioritize the push for further dismantling of American immigration law over any sort of meaningful teachings of becoming an American citizen.
Under the guise of providing support for potential future U.S. citizens, the Biden administration is funding organizations that advocate for an immigration free-for-all.
The conflict of interest is clear. This open borders administration seems to be funding support for open border policies.
Naturalization for qualified permanent legal residents is a noble pursuit. However, in the middle of a tense debate on government funding, money ostensibly intended to help in the naturalization process going to organizations whose primary focus seems to be dismantling whatever is left of order in our immigration system ought to halt any future funding of such grants.
One of the organizations, the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights (formerly the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles, but still known as CHIRLA) received $450,000 from USCIS. In 2020, it relied on government grants for about 68% of its total revenue.
While CHIRLA received almost half a million dollars to aid lawful permanent residents in the citizenship pipeline, it’s tough to figure out how exactly it helps in that process. Its website lists citizenship-preparation workshops as a service offered, but does not show any upcoming workshops. Past events listed on CHIRLA’s website do not mention any citizenship workshops, either.
Easy to find, however, are CHIRLA’s legal services for illegal immigrants, as well as its principles, which include “immediate immigration reform that includes a path to citizenship for all undocumented people.”
CHIRLA’s social media accounts do not seem to provide resources for legal permanent residents seeking citizenship, either. On the same day USCIS announced CHIRLA’s citizenship grant, the organization posted on Twitter and Instagram from Washington, D.C.
CHIRLA participated in a rally at the White House and appeared to meet with at least two members of Congress, advocating for citizenship for illegal aliens and an end to the deportation and detention of illegals.
One must wonder why an organization that seems more concerned with keeping the border open and free-for-all citizenship is receiving significant government money to provide a service that seems at best to be on the periphery of what it does.
Another organization present at the rally for illegal-immigration-for-all in Washington was CASA. CASA received $250,000 through the USCIS grant, but nothing on the organization’s website’s homepage mentions naturalization or citizenship preparation.
Its actual policy agenda is detailed on its website, which calls for extreme policy changes, including abolishing Immigration and Customs Enforcement — a proposal so extreme that even Democratic lawmakers have failed to defend it.
Michigan United, which received $300,000 from USCIS, also appears to do very little in supporting legal immigrants seeking naturalization, while prioritizing advocacy for a range of radical changes in Michigan and across the country.
According to events listed on the organization’s website, it has not held any citizenship classes since February. It does, however, seem to be very active in promoting open border policies.
Among victories the organization claims is preventing the requirement of E-Verify for Michigan employers. The organization also openly seeks to block Michigan law enforcement from cooperating with the enforcement of immigration law. No organization that seeks to obstruct federal law should receive federal grant money.
These groups represent just a fraction of the 65 organizations that received $22 million in total from Biden’s USCIS. This administration’s willingness to shovel money to left-wing activist groups under the guise of humanitarian support is well-documented, and USCIS’ citizenship-preparation grants are just another source of taxpayer funds used to reward the administration’s leftist allies.
The House took an important step in ending the misuse of grant money to support radical activism by leaving funding for these grants out of its appropriations bill for fiscal year 2024. However, as additional appropriations bills make their way through the Congress and to the White House, the many pots of grant money that Biden’s departments of Homeland Security, Health and Human Services, State, Justice, and more have given to pro-open borders nongovernmental organizations should be defunded.
This article was originally published by The Daily Signal.
Matthew Kuckelman is a research associate with The Heritage Foundation’s Border Security and Immigration Center.