How Your Tax Dollars Are Funding the Border Disaster
There are two sides to the border crisis: moving migrants from their home countries to the Mexican border and making sure they make it across once they’re there. The federal government’s role in the second half of the equation is well known. What you might not realize is that they—which is to say, we, the American taxpayers—are funding the first half, too.
A new report by Todd Bensman at the Center for Immigration Studies shows millions of dollars going from the State Department and the Department of Homeland Security to non-governmental organizations providing services to migrants en route to the United States. Many of these NGOs are religious-based, such as HIAS (formerly the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society), Caritas (affiliated with the Catholic Church), and Lutheran World Relief. In 2022, 47 percent of HIAS’s revenue came from government sources.
This is in addition to the $1.4 billion given in the last 12 months by the Biden administration directly to the United Nations’ International Organization for Migration, the most ever given to IOM in a single year.
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The UN’s “activity explorer” database shows where the money goes: transportation, food, shelter, and “Cash and Voucher Assistance,” a $372 million UN program that hands out money to migrants “in-transit” to the U.S. in 2024. Bensman writes that the money usually takes the form of “pre-paid, rechargeable debit cards, but also hard ‘cash in envelopes,’ bank transfers, and mobile transfers that the U.S. border-bound travelers can use for whatever they want.”
The State Department website justifies the activities of its Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration by saying, “PRM promotes U.S. interests by providing protection, easing suffering, and resolving the plight of persecuted and forcibly displaced people around the world.”
It would be more accurate to say that PRM promotes illegal immigration to the United States by giving money to NGOs that ensure that migrants will be subsidized at every step of their journey. Then many of the same NGOs work inside the United States to provide similar services to migrants within our borders—but that half of the story will have to wait for another CIS report.