‘Deportation Defense’ is Big Business
Left-wing group could get $1 billion from taxpayers to keep gang members here.
As extremist Biden-Harris policies continue to swamp America with illegal aliens, the regime, which has already lavished millions of dollars on a radical George Soros-funded group, may give the so-called social justice outfit another billion taxpayer dollars to prevent illegal aliens from being deported.
The illegals benefiting from this largesse are unaccompanied alien children (UACs) who supposedly have no parents or legal guardians in the U.S. to take care of them.
Many UACs have ties to MS-13 or other gangs, then-chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Chuck Grassley, an Iowa Republican, warned in 2017.
“It is well known that MS-13 actively targets and recruits children as young as eight years old,” the lawmaker said. “While their illegal status and Central American heritage are a key factor in MS-13’s targeting, without a doubt the failures of the current system for handling these children are also to blame.”
“With promises of a cultural community and an escape from often harrowing and isolating living conditions at home, MS-13 has become an attractive option for too many minors,” Grassley added.
This taxpayer-underwritten MS-13 import subsidy comes “amid an escalating border crisis that saw more than 239,000 migrant encounters in May alone -- a historic high. There were 14,699 encounters of unaccompanied minors in May, an increase from the 12,180 encountered in April and slightly higher than the 14,052 encountered in May 2021,” Fox News reports.
“So far, there have been more than 100,000 unaccompanied minor encounters in fiscal year 2022, which started in October, compared to 147,925 for fiscal year 2021 and 33,239 in fiscal year 2020.”
The Trump administration had been using a Title 42 order from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to expel without a hearing individuals captured crossing the border illegally because their presence may pose public health risks to Americans. But the Biden-Harris regime reportedly exempted UACs from the order and typically places them in the custody of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), after which they are moved to locations across the country. Critics say this empowers not just MS-13 but also drug cartels and human traffickers.
The leftist lottery winner here is the Brooklyn, New York-based Vera Institute of Justice, which focuses on keeping illegals at large, including those who fail to appear for immigration hearings.
Vera hands out grants to local governments to keep illegals out of detention. Vera also supports the creation of a taxpayer-funded federal defender service to provide legal representation to everyone in immigration proceedings who can’t afford a lawyer.
As I previously wrote, Vera was founded in 1961 by philanthropist Louis Schweitzer and magazine editor Herbert Sturz, who supposedly “recognized the injustice of a bail system in New York City that locked people up simply for being poor.” Schweitzer died in 1971. Sturz, who died last year, had been on the board of radical billionaire George Soros’s grantmaking colossus, the Open Society Institute, which was later renamed Open Society Foundations (OSF). Sturz also served as deputy mayor of New York City for criminal justice, chairman of the city’s planning commission, and as a member of the New York Times editorial board.
Christopher D. Stone, who also died in 2021, was OSF president from 2011 to 2017 and president of the Vera Institute from 1994 to 2004. A deranged legal theorist, Stone kickstarted the environmentalist movement by arguing that trees and bodies of water should have legal rights, which made him a perfect fit with the more-money-than-brains crowd at Soros’s OSF, which of course, has given plenty of grants to Vera over the years. Under Stone’s novel legal theory, perhaps all the farming lands despoiled by illegals streaming across the southern border could sue green groups and Vera for damages.
Originally called the Manhattan Bail Project, Vera focused on helping low-income New Yorkers meet bail conditions that were beyond their means. Nowadays, the institute focuses on immigration-related issues. “Because very few can afford to hire a lawyer, most immigrants face deportation proceedings alone and without any legal defense,” Vera says, omitting the fact that unauthorized “immigrants” shouldn’t be here in the first place.
The institute is headquartered in New York’s 7th congressional district, which is represented by Rep. Nydia Velazquez, a left-wing Democrat running on the ACORN-entangled Working Families Party line in the August 23 primary. Vera used Twitter in 2019 to urge people to attend a protest alongside Velazquez at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn, a federal lockup.
Velazquez has sponsored immigration amnesty legislation. In 2019 her bill made it through the U.S. House of Representatives.
“Donald Trump’s hateful policies are creating a climate of fear and uncertainty in immigrant communities,” Velazquez huffed at the time. “Holders of Temporary Protected Status and Deferred Enforced Departure are some of our most vulnerable neighbors who have fled natural disasters and political violence. It would be inhumane and economically disruptive to force these immigrants who have built lives in the U.S. to abruptly leave.”
Velazquez is a member of the militant Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC), which declares itself dedicated to taking on “systems of oppression and dismantling structural racism and discrimination” and tackling “systems that privilege the wealthy and powerful.”
Like the CPC’s website, Vera’s website, too, is a catalog of anti-Americanism.
According to Vera: “In its scale and brutality, the American justice system is a global aberration[,]”; “The United States incarcerates more people than any other country in the world[,]”; and “People of color are incarcerated at an unmistakably higher rate than white people.”
The group’s mission is “[t]o end the overcriminalization and mass incarceration of people of color, immigrants, and people experiencing poverty.”
Vera is a pioneer in the field of the “deportation defense program,” in which legal representation is provided to a non-citizen, generally an illegal alien, in deportation proceedings, typically at little or no cost to the client.
The deportation defense movement grew out of the sanctuary city movement, which gave illegal aliens permission to rob, rape, and murder Americans by, among other things, stigmatizing immigration enforcement with emotive slogans like “nobody is illegal.”
Like the two movements, the regime is also committed to defining illegal aliens out of existence.
A few weeks after he was installed as president, Joe Biden ordered the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agencies to drop the perfectly good legal term “illegal aliens” because leftists consider it offensive. Going forward “undocumented noncitizen” and “undocumented individuals” would be used.
CBP Deputy Commissioner Troy Miller defended the linguistic swindle as necessary to “set a tone and example.”
“We enforce our nation’s laws while also maintaining the dignity of every individual with whom we interact,” he said. “The words we use matter and will serve to further confer that dignity to those in our custody.”
Sen. Tom Cotton, an Arkansas Republican, promptly ridiculed the new directive.
“We use the term ‘illegal alien’ because they’re here illegally,” the plainspoken lawmaker said. “This kind of weakness and obsession with political correctness is why we’re having a crisis on the border in the first place.”
Given the regime’s ideological bent, it shouldn’t be all that surprising that it is now drowning its friends at the Vera Institute in an ocean of money.
Vera signed a $171.7 million contract with the Department of the Interior (DOI) with a start date of March 30 to help unaccompanied minors stay in the country, Fox News reported July 14. The contract runs until March 2023 but could be extended until March 2027 in which case Vera would be paid $983 million in total.
The DOI contract is in addition to a $158 million contract Vera signed with HHS in 2021 to do the same thing.
The nearly $1 billion figure for DOI grants is also separate from the $310 million the Obama-era HHS gave the Vera Institute in 2015 and 2016 to legally represent UACs, an investigation by the Immigration Reform Law Institute discovered.
Biden is the architect of the current mess at the border. He laid out his plans in his usual mangled English during the primary debates.
Illegals should never be detained, he said June 27, 2019.
“But the fact is that, look, we should not be locking people up. We should be making sure we change the circumstance, as we did, why they would leave in the first place. And those who come seeking asylum, we should immediately have the capacity to absorb them, keep them safe until they can be heard.”
Biden egged on the border surge on September 12, 2019.
“What I would do as president is several more things because things have changed. I would in fact, make sure that there is we immediately surge to the border all those people are seeking asylum,” he said.
“They deserve to be heard. That’s who we are. We are a nation that says if you want to flee and you’re fleeing oppression you should come.”
Biden kept on going with his surge rhetoric March 15, 2020.
“All of the bad things are coming through ports of entry right now. We don’t need a wall and by the way I would immediately as president surge to the border. I would end this notion for the first time in history the people seeking asylum have to be in squalor on the other side of the river and--and desperate situation. They should be-- be-- come to the United States and have a judgment made as to whether or not they qualify. I would also surge to the border immigration judges to make--make decisions immediately and no one, no one would be put in jail while waiting for their hearing.”
Before her affirmative-action hire as vice president, Kamala Harris called for crippling the nation’s immigration enforcement apparatus. As a senator, Harris likened ICE to the Ku Klux Klan during rejected ICE director nominee Ronald Vitiello’s confirmation hearing on November 15, 2018.
To paraphrase Biden, that’s who these people are. They’re not even trying to hide what they really think about America.
With the regime’s enthusiasm for illegal aliens and its desire to put their interests above those of Americans, the billion-dollar DOI grant to the Vera Institute of Justice, which does not include the $468 million it received from HHS, is just the beginning.
The deportation defense industry, whose footprint keeps expanding when leftists are in power, seems like it will become a permanent fixture in America.