MAY 08, 2014
Nearly a year after Congress defunded President Obama’s special advocate for illegal immigrants at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), a source inside the agency tells Judicial Watch the official is still in charge of the office which was quietly rebranded to protect it from the chopping block.
In fact, later this month the illegal alien advocate office—renamed Office of Community Outreach—will participate in a special agency open house at the Washington D.C. headquarters of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the DHS agency charged with finding and deporting illegal aliens. Scheduled for May 16, the event aims to provide ICE employees an opportunity to learn more about ICE programs and activities, according to an announcement provided by JW’s source. More than a dozen booths will feature the agency’s various divisions, including the new Community Outreach and Community Hotline, which used to comprise the Public Advocate office charged with helping illegal aliens.
In 2012 ICE proudly announced its first-ever “Public Advocate” to deal with the concerns and recommendations of community and advocacy groups. It was clear from the start that the ICE Public Advocate was appointed to meet the demands of the increasingly powerful open borders movement. In fact, the advocate (Andrew Lorenzen-Strait) confirms it in a blog post shortly after he was named to the position: “My staff and I will serve as a point of contact for individuals, including those in immigration proceedings, NGOs, and other community and advocacy groups, who have concerns, questions, recommendations or important issues they would like to raise.” In a Spanish announcement DHS calls Lorenzen-Strait the people’s counsel and a direct line to ICE leaders in expressing concerns about unfavorable measures and decisions related to immigration.
Lorenzen-Strait immediately met with leftist groups known to represent the interests of illegal immigrants in a series of “community roundtables.” Participants included El Centro Hispano in Durham North Carolina, the Massachusetts Immigration and Refugee Advocacy Coalition in Boston and the International House in Charlotte, North Carolina. Not coincidentally, the Obama administration released thousands of illegal immigrants from detention facilities throughout the U.S. after the meetings.
Some members of Congress became outraged that American taxpayer dollars were being used to fund a Homeland Security position that advocates on behalf of illegal immigrants. A Tennessee congresswoman introduced a widely supported measure to prevent ICE from funding the position of public advocate, reminding that when Congress established DHS it created an advocate position for immigrants in the legal immigration process but specifically declined to create one for illegal immigrants. The same lawmaker, Diane Black, wrote DHS a letter demanding to know why it continued ignoring the law prohibiting the agency from funding the position of Public Advocate.
Nearly a year later the story has practically fizzled away yet American taxpayers keep funding this outrageous office that works on behalf of illegal immigrants and their supporters in the U.S. Lorenzen-Strait’s title was simply changed to Deputy Assistant Director Custody Programs and Community Outreach, but he continues working on behalf of illegal aliens, according to JW’s inside source. None of the functions of the supposedly defunct Public Advocate office have stopped, the source confirms. Only the name has changed.
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