MAY 13, 2015
As if it weren’t infuriating enough that American taxpayers are being forced to house, feed, medically treat and educate the never-ending influx of illegal immigrant minors, the Obama administration is also doling out millions of dollars to provide them with free legal representation.
Unlike the criminal justice system, in immigration court the government doesn’t offer free lawyers to those who can’t afford them. This means that illegal aliens who don’t have the money to pay for one must represent themselves in legal proceedings or rely on volunteer attorneys or paralegals provided by immigrant rights groups. This leaves many illegal aliens in removal proceedings without adequate legal representation and that’s simply not acceptable to the president.
So the administration is spending our tax dollars to hire attorneys for the tens of thousands of illegal immigrant minors, mostly from Central America, that have entered the U.S. through Mexico in the last few months. Initially, the government labeled them Unaccompanied Alien Children (UAC) but the term was evidently offensive and not politically correct enough for the powerful open borders movement so last month the administration renamed them Central American Minors (CAM). The name change was part of a new refugee/parole that offers a free one-way flight to the U.S. from El Salvador, Guatemala or Honduras to avoid the treacherous process of entering the U.S. illegally through the southern border. The program includes “resettlement assistance” and permanent residency.
But many of the thousands who entered through Mexico on foot prior to Obama’s refugee/parole initiative still face immigration court proceedings and most don’t have lawyers. That’s why the administration is investing $2 million to hire attorneys for the new arrivals. The money will flow through a special program, Justice AmeriCorps, launched by the Department of Justice (DOJ) Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) last summer. “The purpose of the justice AmeriCorps grant funding is to improve the efficient and effective adjudication of immigration court proceedings involving certain unaccompanied children,” according to the grant announcement. “Grants awarded in response to this Notice will enable grantees to enroll lawyers and paralegals to serve as AmeriCorps members providing direct legal representation and other legal services to certain unaccompanied children. The program will also help identify unaccompanied children who have been victims of human trafficking or abuse to assist in the investigation and prosecution of those who perpetrate such crimes on those children.”
The administration plans to enroll approximately 100 lawyers and paralegals to provide legal services to the “most vulnerable of these children,” the announcement says. The cash giveaway is also being promoted in the government’s general grant database for all federal agencies as an open-ended project with no listed money cap. This, of course, indicates that the $2 million allocation is just a start. In most cases, an “award ceiling” is listed in the grant amount, but not in this case. The money will likely keep flowing until all the UACs are safe in the United States with full rights and benefits.
Another interesting tidbit is found in the broader Justice AmeriCorps document targeting perspective grantees with a detailed explanation of how the program will function. This includes hypothetical questions and concerns that grantees may have, such as what happens if the program funding expires before a case is concluded. “There is some concern about taking on cases and then having a big caseload and then having no funding by the time the court date arrives to see a case to conclusion,” the document states. The administration virtually guarantees that the cases will be resolved quickly thanks to newly created “relief in various types of immigration proceedings,” including “asylum, Special Immigrant Juvenile (SIJ) status, and/or Tor U nonimmigrant status.” Additionally, the document states that funding will likely be extended anyways.
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