The Border Isn’t Just a Crisis, It’s Also a Grift


April 6, 2023

By Brian Lonergan

There was a time not long ago when Americans would read news stories about obscene levels of corruption in other countries and feel justified in a sense of superiority. Things might not be perfect here, but at least we weren’t that bad. No more. We have now reached the point here where it is that bad. We have surrendered the right to look down our noses at any other country.

One of the most glaring examples of this today can be found in the crisis raging at the U.S.-Mexico border. There have been endless videos of hordes of migrants traversing the Rio Grande and walking into the United States, but that is just a part of the total picture.

Whenever the leviathan U.S. government is running an operation, it is often funded in the millions or billions of dollars. Along with that often follows high levels of waste, corruption and fraud. The southern border is no different. The situation there is a magnet for such mismanagement and exploitation.

The Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Office of Inspector General recently issued a report which found nonprofit charity organizations, on the receiving end of more than $100 million from the federal government, inappropriately used taxpayer money for illegal aliens.

The money had been awarded to 25 organizations in border states under the American Rescue Plan. It was reported that, in some cases, taxpayer money was given to illegal aliens who had evaded Border Patrol.

While infuriating, such waste is probably not shocking to anyone who has followed American politics for any length of time. In 1986, the Packard Commission discovered the Pentagon was paying $435 for hammers, $600 for toilet seats and $7,000 for a coffee maker. Unlike that case, however, the border grift is directly contributing to the country’s decline in terms of finances, sovereignty, and wage stability, to name just a few of the dire consequences.

The finding in the DHS inspector general’s report is far from an outlier. A report from the same office last year revealed that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) spent $17 million of a no-bid contract to house migrants in hotels that went largely unused, and that a contractor failed to meet ICE standards for COVID protocols, “putting migrant families and the outside population at risk of contracting COVID-19.”

It is an incontrovertible fact that the current administration is using the considerable resources of the federal government, i.e., our money, to worsen the border crisis and, often, to reward its radical water carriers at the scene in the process.

An investigation by the Immigration Reform Law Institute found that more than $66 million in taxpayer funds are being used to defend illegal aliens and visa overstayers in immigration proceedings, even though defendants in such civil actions are not entitled to a free lawyer. The money is spent through programs created by the Vera Institute of Justice, a George Soros-linked, extreme anti-borders “nonprofit” that also received a $172 million federal contract from the Biden Administration last year.

See a pattern here? It is an incontrovertible fact that the current administration is using the considerable resources of the federal government, i.e., our money, to worsen the border crisis and, often, to reward its radical water carriers at the scene in the process.

The cynicism of this effort knows no bounds. To protect itself against criticism for the myriad bad consequences of these border policies, the government has outsourced the implementation of these policies to a host of nonprofit agencies.

The New York Post has reported on how groups like the United Way and Catholic Charities are receiving millions of taxpayer dollars to facilitate the illegal flow of foreign nationals into the United States.  By providing hotel rooms, meals, clothing and transportation to border crossers, these groups are greasing the wheels of the machine that is overwhelming our communities and pilfering our treasury, all in the name of “charity.”

As the Post article correctly assessed, this is little more than high-dollar money laundering. Anti-borders politicians can’t defend the government’s overt engagement in activities that go directly against the stated missions of the Border Patrol and ICE. So instead, they pay nonprofits to accomplish their goals, and use those groups’ humanitarian reputations as a cudgel against critics of their policies.

Even in pursuit of an honorable goal, our government’s efforts often come with waste, corruption, and fraud. But when it comes to the border, the government’s goals are not honorable, so the scale of grift is even larger. The problems are on the ground at the border, but they start with the disingenuous policy and direction at the top.

Brian Lonergan is director of communications at the Immigration Reform Law Institute, a public interest law firm working to defend the rights and interests of the American people from the negative effects of illegal migration.

Also published at American Greatness, April 6, 2023.

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