The Obama administration is supporting several non-profit groups — with federal funding through a major White House initiative — that are part of an organized effort aimed at converting green-card holders into U.S. citizens in order to vote against Donald Trump, a Daily Caller investigation reveals.
Through an initiative called Networks for Integrating New Americans initiative, which the White House formed in April 2014, the administration has partnered with the National Partnership for New Americans (NPNA), an immigration rights umbrella organization that has denounced Trump’s “hateful rhetoric.”
In a recent post to its Facebook page, NPNA asserted that green-card holders “have the potential to change America’s electorate” by gaining citizenship. The group and its executive director is also affiliated with one of the leftist groups that helped shut down a Trump rally in Chicago earlier this month.
And through U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the Obama administration has provided hundreds of thousands of dollars in grants to groups that have cited Trump as one reason that green-card holders should obtain citizenship before the general election in November.
The findings raise questions over whether groups that receive federal funds should be allowed to openly target specific presidential candidates. They also suggest what many conservative critics of immigration reform have long asserted: that one of the goals of activist citizenship groups is to create a new batch of Democratic voters.
Trump has become a target for Latino and immigrant rights groups for his comments about illegal aliens and his promises to build a “big, beautiful wall” along the southern border.
The revolt against a potential Trump nomination has been dubbed the “Trump Effect.” CNN recently reported that the number of naturalization applications increased 14.5 percent in June-December 2015 compared to the same period in 2014.
That jump is thanks in part to activist groups’ efforts to convince many of the 4.5 million Latino residents in the U.S. eligible for naturalization to apply for it.
The federal government isn’t alone in leveraging Trump in order to boost citizenship applications. Numerous entities — including the Mexican government and billionaire George Soros — have funded community activist groups pushing permanent legal residents to obtain citizenship so that they can vote against the GOP front-runner.
Earlier this month Bloomberg Politics reported that the Mexican government is hosting citizenship drives at its consulates in several major U.S. cities. One presumptive goal of the effort is to put permanent residents on the path to citizenship in order to vote against Trump.
And Soros, through his Open Society Foundations network, is funding numerous organizations that oppose Trump and support amnesty and other pro-immigrant reforms.
Several of those groups were involved in protests that led to the cancellation of a Trump rally in Chicago earlier this month. One of those is the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR), a Chicago-based outfit that is closely affiliated with National Partnership for New Americans, the group involved in the Obama White House’s citizenship enrollment task force. (RELATED: Here Are The Radical Leftist Anti-Trump Groups Behind The Chicago Protest)
As part of the task force, NPNA operates under the direction of World Education, Inc., a Boston-based social and economic development group. The initiative is being funded by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education.
ICIRR is part of NPNA’s network, and the two groups have worked together on the citizenship application push. Part of their effort involves guiding green-card holders through the naturalization process. And in some cases, they help applicants apply for waivers to avoid having to pay the $680 naturalization application fee.
The two non-profits are also connected through NPNA’s executive director, Joshua Hoyt. He previously served as executive director at ICIRR.
The White House-backed NPNA makes its anti-Trump bent no secret.
Tara Raghuveer, the group’s deputy executive director, recently cited Trump’s “hateful” rhetoric as a spark for the naturalization application push.
“People who are eligible are really feeling the urgency to get out there,” Raghuveer told The New York Times. “They are worried by the prospect that someone who is running for president has said hateful things.”
In a post on its Facebook page, NPNA asserted that one “silver lining to all the hateful rhetoric spewing from the presidential campaign” is that naturalization rates have jumped and “could approach 1 million this year.”
NPNA’s Facebook page is also littered with anti-Trump rhetoric and links to articles criticizing the candidate. It frequently uses the hashtags “#StandUpToHate” and “#NaturalizeNow” as part of its campaign.
The Obama administration is also backing anti-Trump groups through a $10 million U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) citizenship and integration grant program.
The Chicago-based Instituto del Progresso Latino and Asian Americans Advancing Justice, which is based in Los Angeles, both received $250,000 in fiscal year 2015 as part of the program, which aims to help permanent residents apply for and obtain citizenship.
Earlier this month, the Chicago branch of Asian Americans Advancing Justice hosted an event “to denounce the hateful rhetoric against Muslims, immigrants, and others by Sen. [crscore]Ted Cruz[/crscore] and Donald Trump.”
Representatives with Instituto del Progresso Latino and the Chicago branch of the Council on Americans-Islamic Relations, a Muslim civil rights group with known ties to terrorists, also attended the event. As did Illinois Rep. [crscore]Luis Gutierrez[/crscore], a Democrat who is one of the House’s most vocal supporters of amnesty.
Earlier this month Gutierrez joined Hillary Clinton at an event hosted by another Chicago community organizer called The Resurrection Project in which he called for 1 million legal permanent residents to obtain citizenship in order to “stop the hate” and defeat Trump. (RELATED: Congressman Calls On 1 Million Immigrants To Obtain Citizenship In Order To Stop Trump)
The effort — which Clinton praised — involved the use of “navigators” to guide applicants through the process of obtaining citizenship.
“I am in support of what you are doing to try to help navigate people who are here, who are already permanent residents eligible for citizenship to take the next steps to become citizens,” Clinton said.
“We especially need you now because I know people are worried and they’re afraid by some of what they are hearing,” she continued.
The Resurrection Project has also received federal funding, though it appears not to be related to the citizenship effort. Last August the group received a $36,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. It was given a $36,850 grant the year before.
Another group with anti-Trump sentiments that is involved in the citizenship push is Catholic Legal Services of Miami. Through the USCIS program, it has partnered with the School Board of Miami-Dade County on its “Fast Track to Citizenship” program, which focuses on guiding Cuban, Haitian, Dominican and Colombian residents through the citizenship application process.
In another article published earlier this month about the “Trump Effect,” Catholic Legal Services director Raul Hernandez said he supported residents rationale for obtaining citizenship and heralded a mass push as a “game changer.”
“If that is the motivation for them to become citizens, I welcome the motivation,” he told CNN.
“It’s going to be a totally different political situation — folks with a different view of what a citizen is, raising their voice, saying, ‘I’m here and I want to have a say in the future of the nation.'”