Immigration bill would spend $50 million to advise illegals

Neil Munro White House Correspondent
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The Senate’s Gang of Eight immigration bill offers $50 million in taxpayer-funded assistance to help illegal immigrants file for the multi-stage amnesty offered by the controversial bill.

The proposed spending is intended to help illegals get “registered provisional immigration status,” which is the first stage of the legalization process.

The money can be given to activist groups to support immigrants who need help “completing applications and petitions, including providing assistance in obtaining the requisite documents and supporting evidence … applying for any waivers for which applicants and qualifying family members may be eligible,” according to Section 2106, beginning on page 131 of the complex 844-page bill.

The very long bill also includes language granting the Secretary of Homeland Security the authority to spend the money on other priorities.

The money can be used for “providing any other assistance that the Secretary or grantees consider useful or necessary to apply for registered provisional immigrant status,” the bill says.

Also, in more good news for illegal immigrants, the $50 million may be just a down payment. Section 2106(d)2(A) of the law provides a five-year authorization to congressional appropriations committees to spend even more taxpayer funds to help activist groups guide illegal immigrants in their quests for green cards as well as access to taxpayer aid and welfare programs.

“In addition to the amounts made available under paragraph (1), there are authorized to be appropriated such sums as may be necessary for each of the fiscal years 2014 through 2018 to carry out this section.”

The money is to be distributed by the secretary first “to eligible public or private nonprofit organizations.”

Paragraph B excludes for-profit companies from the task. Instead, it only allows “a nonprofit, tax-exempt organization, including a community, faith-based or other immigrant-serving organization, whose staff has demonstrated qualifications, experience, and expertise in providing quality services to immigrants, refugees, persons granted asylum, or persons applying for such statuses.”

A variety of Democratic-leaning organizations would meet those requirements. They include La Raza and Casa De Maryland, both of whom are strongly promoting the new amnesty and guest-worker bill.

If the bill passes, eligible activist groups will likely apply for the funds.

At least 11 million people are expected to apply for the multi-stage amnesty if the bill becomes law.

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