GOP Congress Earmarks $4 Million for Leftist Pro-Illegal Alien Group

By Amanda B. Carpenter, Human Events Online, December 2, 2005

Thanks to a congressional earmark, an open-borders advocacy group that pushes for driver’s licenses, free in-state tuition and healthcare for illegal aliens and bilingual requirements for state agencies and ballots is slated to get $4 million in new taxpayer money to add to the more than $30 million it has received from various federal agencies since 1996.

The National Council of La Raza (NCLR), Spanish for “the race,” will get its latest grant through an appropriations bill passed by Congress on November 18. The Joint Explanatory Statement of HR 3058, available on the House’s Rules Committee website lists 1,100 plus earmarks in the bill, including La Raza’s grant under the Housing and Urban Development Department’s Self-Help and Assisted Ownership Programs. Under this account La Raza will receive four times as much as the Special Olympics, which won a $1-million earmark.

La Raza is the nation’s largest Hispanic advocacy organization. It was adamantly opposed to the REAL ID Act, which will prevent states from issuing driver’s licenses to illegal aliens if they want them to be usable for federal purposes. It is also opposed to the CLEAR Act, which would grant state and local law enforcement agencies that wish to do so the authority to enforce federal immigration laws.

Spontaneous Spending

The Capital Research Center (CRC), which rates public interest groups on a scale of 1 to 8, with 1 equaling “radical left” and 8 equaling “free market right,” gave La Raza a rating of 2, the same rating it gave People for the American Way and NARAL Pro-Choice America. CRC reports that La Raza’s net assets totaled nearly $52 million in 2003....

Tax forms available from CRC also reveal that La Raza spends about $1 million per year on lobbyists, fundraising and web design....

One person who would like to know how La Raza’s $4-million earmark got into the bill is Rep. Charlie Norwood (R.-Ga.) who, with Rep. Pete Sessions (R.-Tex.), sponsors the CLEAR Act. Jennifer Hing, communication director for Rep. Joe Knollenberg (R.-Mich.) who is chairman of the House Appropriations subcommittee that handled the bill, said the Senate inserted the earmark.

Norwood said he was told the money was stricken from the House version of the bill because NCLR has not used the money for housing they received last year. “But no matter what they did or didn’t do last year, we ought not to send taxpayer’s money to people who absolutely advocate perhaps using that money for this country not to follow the law of the land and not to secure our country’s borders,” he said. Said Norwood: “It sounds like they have a sugar-daddy in the Senate.”

One possible culprit is Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D.-Nev.) who sits on the Senate Appropriations subcommittee that handled the bill carrying the earmark....

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