Former President Barack Obama’s administration approved multiple contracts totaling more than $310 million to a nonprofit organization offering legal advice to illegal immigrants during his final two full years in office, according to a report from the Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI).
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under Obama awarded the contracts to the Vera Institute of Justice (Vera) for the “purpose of providing legal representation to unaccompanied alien children (UACs),” IRLI noted on Thursday.
The contracts ensured that Vera would provide “direct legal representation” to these UACs and connect them with sponsors.
Christopher Stone, one of Vera’s former directors, also has served as a president of liberal billionaire activist George Soros’ Open Society Foundations.
The Obama administration, however, appeared to overlook one key factor: The Immigration and Nationality Act stipulates that illegal immigrants facing deportation proceedings “shall have the privilege of being represented (at no expense to the government),” as IRLI noted.
“When the federal government pays for illegal alien minors to receive direct legal representation, it does more than flout the law,” Dale L. Wilcox, IRLI’s executive director and general counsel, said in a statement released with the report.
“These unauthorized payments have undoubtedly [sped up] UACs’ release from detention facilities to join their families, relatives, or fellow gang members — or help them reconnect with and pay ‘pandillas,’ the criminal cartels that make enormous profits from controlling human trafficking over the southern border,” Wilcox said.
“My guess is that average voters would not be pleased to know that such vast amounts of their tax dollars are being spent in aid of this giant criminal enterprise,” Wilcox added.
Indeed, some people greeted the report findings with varying degrees of outrage and frustration.
“So as a taxpaying citizen the gov’t ruins the life of a true patriot, Gen Mike Flynn, due to high legal bills, but if he were an illegal immigrant, Obama would have picked up the tab?” former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (R) tweeted.
He was referencing former national security adviser Michael Flynn’s soaring legal bills as a result of special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe.
So as a taxpaying citizen the gov't ruins the life of a true patriot, Gen Mike Flynn, due to high legal bills, but if he were an illegal immigrant, Obama would have picked up the tab? https://t.co/My79JqYpJb
— Gov. Mike Huckabee (@GovMikeHuckabee) December 7, 2018
Conservatives commentators Diamond and Silk tweeted, “Caring more for Illegals than Americans … This is scandalous.”
Caring more for Illegals than Americans…
This is scandalous.
(Obama Caught Secretly Funneling $310 MILLION to Illegal Immigrants) https://t.co/nn3xSuTgtn
— Diamond and Silk® (@DiamondandSilk) December 7, 2018
“Remember this when you see your next pay stub and realize your tax dollars were funding illegals. Obama Caught Secretly Funneling $310 MILLION to Illegal Immigrants,” one Twitter user wrote.
Remember this when you see your next pay stub and realize your tax dollars were funding illegals. Obama Caught Secretly Funneling $310 MILLION to Illegal Immigrants – Young Conservatives https://t.co/8XCwg6ESXs
— Steve Lozano (@Steve1r09) December 7, 2018
Another Twitter user wrote, “Wow, that was generous of him especially when our country was in such financial turmoil!”
Wow that was generous of him especially when our country was in such financial turmoil!
— #FarRight (@TChickelero) December 7, 2018
Still another person tweeted, “$310 million could go a long way to helping feed our citizens who are homeless.”
$310 million could go a long way to helping feed our citizens who are homeless
— JackersRyan (@JackersRyan) December 7, 2018
IRLI released its report as President Donald Trump is fighting for border wall funding from Congress while trying to avoid a year-end government shutdown.
Trump, who campaigned heavily on securing the border, building a border wall and enforcing U.S. immigration laws, has recently brought attention to the latest Central American migrant caravan filled with thousands of people seeking entry into the U.S.
One Honduran woman who reportedly traveled with the caravan actually crossed the border illegally and within 24 hours gave birth in the U.S., as Fox News reported.
Trump broached the idea in October of using an executive order to end birthright citizenship to address the “anchor babies” controversy.
Check out Trump’s border wall remarks in the video below: