Do We Have Endless Money? Part 2: Legal Aid for Illegals



Despite pushing bills in several states to create single-payer tax-funded healthcare for illegal aliens, the open-borders lobby has been repeatedly coming up empty with that particular scheme.  Where they’ve been far more disturbingly successful, particularly at the local rather than state level,  has been in setting up taxpayer-funded legal aid programs to try to keep illegal aliens from being deported.  Conveniently for them, it’s also a cash cow from which they can line their own pockets.  The combination of self-righteous rhetoric and blatant greed may be one of their most audacious moves yet.

To begin with, as much as they would like the public to be confused about this, no one has a right (constitutional or otherwise) to a publicly-funded lawyer in immigration proceedings.  Deporting someone from this country is a civil, administrative process, not criminal.  What the Sixth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantees, as the Supreme Court held in the seminal 1963 case of Gideon v. Wainwright, is that if someone is charged in criminal court and can’t afford a lawyer, they have to be provided with one paid for from public funds, i.e., by the taxpayers.  American citizens don’t have the right to a lawyer at taxpayer expense in civil disputes, like in family court, or landlord-tenant court, or even when the IRS sues them for unpaid taxes.

Nonetheless, more and more cities and counties have decided to spend precious tax dollars—overwhelmingly earned and paid for by American citizens and legal residents—on paying lawyers to do whatever they can to keep people here who have no right to be here.  The lawyers themselves are mostly committed open-borders zealots, of course, and more than happy to take the money.  And it’s not just in the usual suspects like San Francisco, Seattle and Austin, but places like Columbus, Ohio, and Washtenaw County, Michigan, among others.

Particularly outrageous is how often these legal-aid schemes are set up in places that otherwise constantly bemoan their lack of funds to address myriad needs, with their hands out for more tax money from levels of government higher up.  The City of Baltimore, for instance, apparently can’t even heat its public schools on its own, yet somehow mysteriously has no problem finding $100,000 somewhere (matched by another $100,000 from an open-borders nonprofit) to provide legal assistance for illegal aliens, all while taking over $1.2 billion in annual handouts from the State of Maryland and over $150 million more from the federal government.  That means these cities aren’t just funding legal aid for illegals with their own local money (as bad as that alone would be); they’re actually being subsidized by American taxpayers nationwide to do it.

As much as this has been largely a local phenomenon until now, it’s begun trickling up to the state level.  In New York for the past two years, Governor Andrew Cuomo requested, and the state legislature provided, $10 million for the absurdly-named “Liberty Defense Project” to represent illegal aliens at no charge.

And in Vermont, a bill filed in January, Senate Bill 237, would make the state’s public defenders responsible for representing illegal aliens in immigration court, stretching their already scarce resources away from their current constitutional obligations to their clients in criminal court, who are undoubtedly mostly American citizens.  The bill has now passed both chambers of the legislature, although in different forms so it’s possible the House and Senate still might not work out their differences before they’re scheduled to adjourn on May 4.  If they do, Republican Governor Phil Scott can’t be counted on to veto it. Nominal party affiliation notwithstanding, he proudly signed the Green Mountain State’s sanctuary bill into law last year.

Taxpayers across the country should be up in arms over this growing, insane, harmful, lawless rip-off of their hard-earned money.  Literally anything else would be money better spent.

About Author

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Dave joined FAIR in 2017 after more than ten years as an Assistant State Attorney in Broward County, Florida. His prosecutorial experience covered trial litigation at the misdemeanor and felony levels, drug court and mental health court, and two years as an intake attorney in the juvenile division working closely with law enforcement. Before this, he was a legislative analyst/staff attorney with the Judiciary Committee of the Florida House of Representatives, where he assisted state legislators in ensuring the effectiveness and constitutionality of legislation on a wide variety of subject matter. In both capacities, he often dealt with the interaction of state law and immigration. Dave holds BAs in History and International Relations from American University and a JD from Tulane University Law School.

6 Comments

  1. avatar
    Fred Russo on

    No money for SS people but DemoRATS have unlimited money for non Americans, How in hell can you vote for a party that cares more for non Americans than Americans? Wake up people!!!!!

  2. avatar

    IT IS OUTRAGEOUS the special treatment these ILLEGAL ALIENS get… they hand these illegal aliens, more and more of OUR rights and benefits, while they kick the citizens in the teeth while stealing our tax dollars to cater to illegal aliens.. I’m fed up with the illegal aliens being held above our laws and above the citizens… I’ve complained to congressmen, senators and the white house and it all seems to fall on deaf ears.. they care MORE about the illegal aliens and their needs and screw the citizens…
    the politicians have ABSOLUTELY destroyed the meaning of being a citizen to our country.. WHY bother working hard and obeying our laws when they are handed more and more of OUR rights and benefits when they enter illegally..
    we should NOT be spending ONE dime on ANY illegal aliens… I do NOT understand anyone who is okay with paying for these illegal aliens to get FREE medical care with OUR tax dollars and then they send their money out of the country… ILLEGAL ALIENS ARE AN EXTREME BURDEN ON THE CITIZENS..

  3. avatar
    Lorenzo Gasbarrini on

    Some schmo gets elected and asserts his mandate to do things that were never mentioned when he/she was electioneering. I’m a NYer and I’ll contact a conservative Senator or Rep to see if there has ever been a suggestion that Gov Cuomo be sued for his action.

  4. avatar

    But, as we all know, Curt, our country, today, has no problem ignoring our laws when it concerns illegal aliens and Muslims. And, to FAIR, there are millions of us who care about our country and fellow citizens, not foreign illegals, refugees, asylees, TPS, etc. But the left is controlling our nation and we are not heard ever, at all.

  5. avatar

    Youy forgot to mention that this practice is specifically banned by Federal law, as the INA (Immigration and nationality Act) states:
    “The right to counsel in immigration proceedings is rooted in the Due Process Clause [of the Fifth Amendment] and codified at 8 U.S.C. § 1362 and 8 U.S.C. § 1229a(b)(4)(A) [of the Immigration and Nationality Act
    … that the alien “shall have the privilege of being represented (at no expense to the Government)

    No expense to the government. No public money. Not taxpayer money.

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