Obama Admin Violated Federal Immigration Law By Awarding Over $310 Million For Legal Aid To Unaccompanied Alien Minors

An investigation by the Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI) has revealed that between 2015 and 2016, Barack Obama’s U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), violated federal immigration law by awarding multiple high level taxpayer funded contracts worth over $310 million to a single nonprofit group.

The awarded funds went to help Unaccompanied Alien Children (UACs) avoid deportation from the United States.

IRLI investigation reveals that the Obama administration rewarded the Vera Justice Institute with millions in American taxpayer-funded contracts to give “direct legal representation” to UACs in deportation proceedings. This is a clear violation of The Immigration and Nationality Act, Section 292, that states aliens in removal proceedings “shall have the privilege of being represented (at no expense to the Government).”

It is not a coincidence that the Vera Institute has direct ties to George Soros. In the 2001 publication of George Soros’ Introduction: A Global Alliance for Open Society, the Vera Institute is listed as one of their non-governmental organization (NGO) partners.

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“Another form of partnership is also of enormous importance to the Soros foundations: the relationships we have developed with a number of grantees that we regard as our allies in pursuing crucial parts of the open society agenda.”

Vera Institute of Justice for its innovative efforts to pursue criminal justice reform programs in such countries as Russia, South Africa, and the United States

George Soros is a billionaire, he has ample funds to support his open society initiatives without Obama awarding high-value contracts of American taxpayer money worth over $310 million.

The money that Obama awarded to the Vera Institute could have gone a long way in helping inner city schools and neighborhoods in the United States.

IRLI reports:

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.

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.

Even though the use of federal funds to provide direct representation to UACs appears to violate federal law, the Obama administration continued to provide funding to Vera for these illegal aliens, knowing that taxpayers would face significant hurdles if they attempted to sue the federal government to halt the payments.

To date, HHS has obligated over $232 million to Vera, with its network of legal services subcontractors, to provide these services, and HHS likely plans to obligate the $78 million remaining on the contracts.

“When the federal government pays for illegal alien minors to receive direct legal representation, it does more than flout the law,” said Dale L. Wilcox, executive director and general counsel of IRLI.

“These unauthorized payments have undoubtedly speeded-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. 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.”

President Trump should cancel the remaining $78 million that is due to be paid out on the contracts.