Obama Unlawfully Spent $310M on Legal Aid for Illegal Immigrants

‘Unauthorized payments have undoubtedly speeded-up [their] release from detention facilities…’

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(Kaylee McGhee, Liberty Headlines) The Obama administration reportedly approved $310 million in contracts providing free legal advice to illegal immigrants despite federal law, which bars the federal government from spending taxpayer dollars to help illegals.

The Immigration Reform Law Institute issued a new report revealing that under the Obama administration’s direction, the Department of Health and Human Services provided funding to a top legal defense group to help unaccompanied illegal children land a sponsor in the U.S. and avoid deportation.

The Vera Institute of Justice was one such group the HHS paid, and contracts reviewed by IRLI show that the firm — tied to leftist billionaire George Soros — raked in more than $310 million from the federal government.

“The contracts require Vera to provide ‘direct legal representation’ to [illegal children], recruit and train pro bono attorneys, and facilitate continued legal representation once [an illegal minor] is released to a sponsor — frequently an illegal alien. So far, the federal grants have paid for legal representation of [illegal minors] in removal proceedings and removal appeals throughout the nation,” IRLI said in its report.


Immigration law does not allow the federal government use tax dollars to aid illegal immigrants, though. In fact, it strictly forbids it.

“The Immigration and Nationality Act, Section 292, states that aliens in removal proceedings ‘shall have the privilege of being represented (at no expense to the government),’” IRLI said in its report. “Immigrant special interest groups, sometimes on behalf of unaccompanied minors, have tried since 1996 to challenge this section, claiming it violates aliens’ rights. Federal courts have always rejected these claims.”

Many of these unaccompanied illegal minors were part of the Obama era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, known as DACA. The Obama administration deliberately ignored federal law to provide assistance to DACA’s ‘Dreamers,’ IRLI said.

“Even though the use of federal funds to provide direct representation to UACs appears to violate federal law, the Obama administration continued to provide funding to Vera for these illegal aliens, knowing that taxpayers would face significant hurdles if they attempted to sue the federal government to halt the payments,” IRLI said.

The Obama administration not only broke the law by providing federal assistance to illegal immigrants, IRLI said, it also undermined the constitutional principles of immigration.

“When the federal government pays for illegal alien minors to receive direct legal representation, it does more than flout the law,” Dale L. Wilcox, executive director and general counsel of IRLI said in a statement.

The Obama HHS’s assistance gave illegal immigrants a significant advantage over other immigrants applying for residency or asylum the legal way, Wilcox said.

“These unauthorized payments have undoubtedly speeded-up [their] release from detention facilities to join their families, relatives, or fellow gang members — or help them reconnect with and pay ‘pandillas,’ the criminal cartels that make enormous profits from controlling human trafficking over the southern border,” Wilcox said. “My guess is that average voters would not be pleased to know that such vast amounts of their tax dollars are being spent in aid of this giant criminal enterprise.”