Few would challenge the need for meaningful immigration reform in American, but taxpayers have good cause to wonder why the current immigration bill pending in Congress includes earmarks and pork barrel spending for special interest advocacy groups.
In the style of Obamacare, many Senators and members of Congress may not have read the entire bill. A veteran journalist who took the trouble to plow through more than 1,000 pages found “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.” As one analyst observes, this amounts to a blank check, with no cap or oversight. And as it turns out, the chief beneficiaries have major government connections.
Cecilia Munoz, a former senior policy analyst with the National Council of La Raza (NCLR), is now a director of domestic policy for the Obama administration and spearheads the administration’s efforts on immigration. Munoz played a role in drafting the Senate version of the immigration bill that would vastly multiply the taxpayer dollars to NCLR, an advocacy group that already gets federal grants and contracts of $8 to $10 million per year. This comes at a time when federal spending is out of control, with new entitlements and new federal agencies. So contrary to the politically correct narrative, it’s not just rapacious employers at meat-packing plants that exploit immigrants for financial gain. Politically connected advocacy groups do so as well. Immigrants, who are also taxpayers, deserve better.
As Alvaro Vargas Llosa has noted in Global Crossings, the patterns of contemporary immigration do not differ fundamentally from those of other epochs. Immigration reform worthy of the name should respect that reality and avoid wasteful spending.