This is highly controversial.
According to data from federal contract database, USASpending, a progressive non-profit that regards immigration enforcement authorities as a “threat” to civil liberties, has secured a government contract for $158 million to prevent unaccompanied minors from being deported.
The tax-payer-funded contract awarded by the Department of Health and Human Services to New York-based Vera Institute of Justice accounts for most of the progressive non-profit’s income. USASpending also revealed that the contract terms require The Vera Institute of Justice to “provide immigration-related legal services to unaccompanied minors.”
The group, which supports defunding the police, has come under scrutiny from other immigration law organizations. Appearing on Fox News, Jason Hopkins, an investigative associate at the Immigration Reform Law Institute, mentioned that the “behemoth progressive non-profit” would be using the large budget to “fund a slate of progressive causes and initiatives across the country,” saying that could range from “criminal justice reform, bail reform and also immigration.”
Speaking to Fox News, a spokesperson for the Vera Institute of Justice, stated that every year “thousands of immigrant children are placed into court proceedings in which government prosecutors seek to deport them,” adding that “many children have legal options that establish their ability to remain in the United States.” But emphasized that the options were “nearly impossible to access without the assistance of trained attorneys.”
Expanding on the purpose of the contract, the spokesperson revealed that the contract had been awarded to “provide legal orientation services” and “legal representation” to deported and detained children.
She also highlighted that the “vast majority” of the federal funds were distributed to Vera’s subcontractors who perform legal services in immigration courts and HHS facilities.
These services, according to Hopkins, could cost local taxpayers $5.6 million as part of Vera’s state-based programs, which gave “taxpayer-funded legal representation to aliens –– even illegal aliens” facing deportation.
Hopkins concluded by querying whether the group –– through their work –– was defending “heinous crime” after he revealed that the group’s website mentions helping those who face deportation and detainment “regardless of … history with the criminal legal system.”