Capital Research Center Summary: Surveys of Americans show mixed views on immigration issues, and yet for the Left all immigration is good, no matter what laws or legislatures say. Major donors on the Left, which normally champion every kind of government regulation, support immigration without limits, and a number of large nonprofits reap not only private funding but millions of tax dollars in the resettlement business. Most Americans have never even heard of the programs that disburse these monies in their name. This report sketches the landscape and tracks the money flows.
Left-wing campaign to overwhelm AmericaLeft-wing grant-makers have embarked on a campaign aimed at overwhelming America with unprecedented levels of immigration. These foundations underwrite a universe of liberal organizations that are devoted to bringing in ever more people from all over the world, and the organizations’ motives include money. These groups, known as “Volunteer Agencies” (VOLAGs), don’t just receive private dollars from liberal foundations; they also are richly rewarded with your tax dollars when they collaborate with federal government agencies. Every year, the U.S. government allows approximately 1 million immigrants to establish legal permanent residence in the U.S. This includes people from countries that represent a national security threat to the U.S. About 140,000 emigrate lawfully from majority-Muslim countries and an even greater number do so from the communist countries that still remain –including Cuba and China– more than two decades after the collapse of the Soviet bloc. Far more immigrants come to America illegally. Last year, almost 140,000 youths and families were welcomed into the U.S. after illegally entering the country through the Southwest border. But these numbers aren’t high enough to please the foundations that will be profiled in this study.
The Refugee ProgramThere is another category of newcomer that most Americans have overlooked while our country is distracted by the wave of illegal immigration. This group is having a profound impact on the complexion of our society and is rapidly rising to the level of national security threat. The group to which I refer are refugees from countries with bloody conflicts. Approximately 3.9 million Syrians have fled civil war and are holed up in refugee camps in surrounding countries. To date, only 700 have been resettled in the U.S., but this may change. On May 21, 14 U.S. senators signed a letter urging President Obama to expand the refugee program to allow 65,000 Syrian refugees into the U.S. by the end of 2016. This would require either a dramatic increase in the current 70,000 annual cap on all refugees, or a policy decision that would force persons from other countries to take a back seat to Syrians. Because of the chaos in Syria, it will be virtually impossible to vet these people, according to the FBI. How many will be members of ISIS or some other terrorist group? Since ISIS members may already be here; there is little doubt more will come. A plethora of special programs allow persons into America outside the usual immigration process, including “diversity” visas, the refugee program, asylum seekers (asylees) and their families (“follow to join”). Refugees from Iraq and Afghanistan have their own special program, Special Immigrant Visas (SIV). The table on this page shows the latest data from these various programs. Additionally, special programs allow about 20,000 Cubans and Haitians to emigrate to the U.S. annually, with the same benefits received by refugees and asylees. There is even a “Rainbow Welcome Initiative” that funds a nonprofit contractor (Heartland Alliance International, LLC) to meet the special needs of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered (LGBT) refugees and asylees. Government funds 87 percent of the $10 million nonprofit. CEO Sid Mohn makes $330,000 per year in pay and benefits according to Heartland’s 2014 tax return. Combined, the top four officers receive about $850,000 per year—almost all on the taxpayer. Finally, in 1991, the government created “Temporary Protected Status” to grant legal status in the U.S. to Salvadoran illegal aliens and others fleeing war or natural disaster in Central America. Currently, over 300,000 TPS aliens in the U.S. are entitled to all the benefits of other legal permanent residents. While they are supposed to be “temporary,” TPS enrollees simply re-enroll when their status expires. Most have been here since the 1990s. In December 2013, the Obama administration announced an in-country refugee program for Central American Minors (CAMs) that allows persons under 21 years of age from Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador direct travel to the U.S. While those countries tragically suffer from high crime and poor economic conditions, merely being a member of an afflicted population does not raise a person to the definition of “refugee.” By offering this status, the Obama administration is deliberately expanding the definition, an action that has been called a “rogue family reunification program.”
Major Foundation SupportersPrimary funding for the VOLAGs comes from the federal and state governments. But many secondary immigrant/refugee advocacy and assistance organizations are supported by wealthy state and national foundations whose assets total tens, if not hundreds, of billions of dollars. Most of these well-established foundations are the Left’s primary source of support outside government. Below is a sampling of noteworthy radical-Left foundations supporting the immigrant/refugee effort. Bauman Foundation: Grantees include a who’s who of the radical Left. Director Patricia Bauman is a trust-fund leftist, also involved in other major radical left operations such as Catalist, which J. Christian Adams has called “Obama’s database for fundamentally transforming America,” Democracy Alliance, and the Brennan Center for Justice. She also advises J Street, the Soros-created Astroturf pro-Palestinian “Jewish” group. (The Bauman Foundation had 2014 net assets of $84 million; for more, see Foundation Watch, December 2014.) Ford Foundation: Financed creation of the open borders movement and multiculturalism in the 1960s. Funded creation and growth of the radical Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF), which spawned the DREAM Act concept, the National Council of La Raza (NCLR) and the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund, which gave us Supreme Court Justice Sonya Sotomayor. It is credited with turning the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) from a conservative group that helped Hispanics assimilate into just another radical leftist Hispanic grievance group. Ford’s impact on immigration activism cannot be overstated. (2013 net assets, $12.1 billion) Gill Foundation: Founded by software billionaire Tom Gill, who along with Pat Stryker, another Colorado-based billionaire, provided most of the funding for the “Colorado Miracle” which turned the then-solidly Republican state Democrat blue in the 2004 and 2008 elections. Their effort was dubbed The Blueprint by authors Rob Witwer and Adam Schrager (who wrote a book with that name), and in 2005 it provided a template for the secretive left-wing funding cabal known as the Democracy Alliance. Gill supports Welcoming America organizations in Colorado, Tennessee, and Oregon. (2013 net assets, $234.4 million; for more on the Colorado Miracle, see Organization Trends, July 2013.) Open Society Institute/Foundations: Through his philanthropies, anti-American hedge fund manager George Soros funds hundreds of radical nonprofits and causes. Soros is a major open borders advocate. From 2010 to 2013, Soros’s Open Society Institute provided $1.7 million to the National Partnership for New Americans (OSI 2013 net assets, $953.7 million). Soros’s Foundation to Promote Open Society had net assets $2.5 billion in 2013. The Soros Fund Charitable Foundation had 2013 net assets of $280 million. The Baltimore Open Society Institute (a.k.a. Alliance for Open Society International) had 2013 net assets of $2.4 million. Public Welfare Foundation: A well-connected, long-established D.C.-based fund, PWF generously services a who’s who of the radical Left, including the Tides Center, ACLU, Van Jones’s Color of Change, the Marxist newspaper In These Times, the radical-left Economic Policy Institute, the Blue Green Alliance (which is the renamed Apollo Alliance, a shady group of labor, environment, Democratic Party representatives who wrote Obama’s stimulus), the Center for American Progress, and many more. (2013 net assets, $488 million) PWF president Mary McClymont previously served as board chair for the Migration Policy Center, national director for legalization at the Migration and Refugee Services of the U.S. Catholic Conference, president and chief executive officer of InterAction, the largest alliance of U.S.-based international development and humanitarian nongovernmental organizations (dedicated to the U.N.’s Sustainable Development agenda), various positions with the Ford Foundation, and trial attorney for the U.S. Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division. She is the co-founder of Grantmakers Concerned with Immigrants and Refugees; chaired the board of the Migration Policy Institute; and served on the boards of Physicians for Human Rights, Amnesty International, the Advisory Committee of Elma Philanthropies Services, and the Advisory Committee on Voluntary Foreign Aid, U.S. Agency for International Development. Currently, she serves on the board of the Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers and the advisory board of New Perimeter, a global pro bono initiative of the law firm DLA Piper. NEO Philanthropy: Formerly called Public Interest Projects, NEO spent $15.7 million in 2013 to “promote strongly aligned and effective immigrant rights organizations working to advance immigration policy and reform; immigrant civil engagement and integration; and defense of immigrant rights.” This includes Alabama Appleseed ($50,000), Arab Community Center ($100,000), Border Action Network ($125,000), Border Network for Human Rights ($390,000), CASA de Maryland ($270,000), Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition ($360,725), Comunidades Unidas ($15,000), Welcoming America ($89,000), TIRRC ($469,000), Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition ($210,000) and many others. Board member Patricia Bauman is the director of the Bauman Foundation. (NEO 2013 net assets, $19.6 million) New World Foundation: Established in 1954, NWF operates as a national community foundation, bragging that “our grantmaking programs have become collaborative funds.” Its goal: “build a progressive new majority for America…” Board member Don Hazenis is the former publisher of Mother Jones and the current editor of AlterNet and the Independent Media Institute, both far-Left media organizations. NWF president Colin Greer joined the secretive Soros machine, Democracy Alliance, in 2014. NWF board chairman Kent Wong is director of the UCLA Labor Center, vice president of the California Federation of Teachers, and a former SEIU attorney. Board member Sofia Campos, when a UCLA undergraduate, taught that school’s first “Undocumented Student Experience” seminar and organized with the California DREAM Act, the federal DREAM Act, and the Right to Dream campaigns. She serves as board chair of United We Dream, “the first and largest network of undocumented immigrant youth.” (2013 NWF assets, $29 million) Unbound Philanthropy: Claims it is dedicated to “Welcoming newcomers. Strengthening communities.” Its mission is to“transform long-standing but solvable barriers to the human rights of migrants and refugees and their integration into host societies.…” Grant recipients include the National Immigration Forum, National Immigration Law Center, American Immigration Council, Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition, Media Matters, Tides Foundation, the radical-left Southern Poverty Law Center, and Hillary Clinton’s favorite think tank: the Center for American Progress. Unbound financed the pro-refugee propaganda film Welcome to Shelbyville. Since 2008, Unbound has provided at least $2.4 million to the International Rescue Committee (IRC), and its net assets in 2013 were $141 million. Vanguard Charitable Endowment Program: Vanguard offers customers donor-advised funds, which allow customers to channel donations to organizations of the donor’s choosing, although in practice directors of donor-advised funds often recommend organizations and initiatives to support. Donor-advised funds are also often used by foundations that wish to mask their money flows to controversial grantees. Thus Vanguard has been the conduit for extensive support of immigration “reform” groups like Welcoming America. It provided over $22 million to the International Rescue Committee between 2005 and 2013. (2014 net assets $4.5 billion) Y&H Soda Foundation: Says its mission is to support “nonprofit and Catholic organizations committed to the full participation and prosperity of the underserved in Alameda and Contra Costa Counties,” which are located in eastern San Francisco Bay. Y&H Soda has provided $155,000 to welcoming projects in California since 2011; it has also funded numerous other local immigrant organizations, including the International Institute of the Bay Area (IIBA), which has its own “Immigrant Voices” program. The most prominent is East Bay Sanctuary Covenant, which claims to be “the largest affirmative asylum program in the country,” representing over 500 asylum applicants per year. Through the Tides Center, Y&H has supported the Arab Resource and Organizing Center. AROC provides legal and refugee/asylum application assistance to Bay area Muslims. Y&H donated about $500,000 in 2012 to its various immigration projects. (2013 net assets, $129 million) Reynolds legacy: The Mary Reynolds-Babcock Foundation and the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation of North Carolina are legacies of the Reynolds Tobacco and Aluminum fortunes, and both fund radical-Left agendas and organizations throughout the U.S. The Babcock Foundation, for example, has provided funds for numerous Welcoming America sponsors. (2013 assets, $182.4 million; Z. Smith Reynolds was profiled inFoundation Watch, June 2013) Tides Foundation: The notorious Tides is a pass-through fund which launders money for wealthy donors who want to support radical causes without being identified. R.J. Reynolds’ granddaughter, Nancy Jane Lehman, co-founded Tides in San Francisco along with New Left organizer Drummond Pike (2013 net assets, $142.3 million). Its sister organization, the Tides Center, was directed for years by ACORN founder and director Wade Rathke (2013 nets assets, $68.2 million). Tides Center lists “support to resettle displaced Iraqi refugees” and to combat “inhumane immigration policy…” among its 2013 activities. Related organizations include the Tides Network (2013 revenues, $13.7 million), Tides, Inc. (2013 net assets, $432,000), and Tides Two Rivers Fund. Arca Foundation: This left-wing donor, based in Washington, D.C., features prominently in the radical Left’s immigration agenda. Founded by Nancy Susan Reynolds, who was Nancy Jane Lehman’s mother and R.J. Reynolds’ youngest daughter, it funds such groups as the Tides Foundation, Center for American Progress, Demos, Media Matters for America, the Soros-created Jewish Astroturf organization J Street—which poses as a Jewish group but advocates the Palestinian cause—and the National Iranian American Council, which Robert Spencer calls “the Mullah’s Mouthpiece.” (2013 net assets, $55.7 million; profiled in Foundation Watch, October 2011)
Refugee ContractorsThe federal government pays nine primary national contractors to resettle refugees and asylees. These voluntary agencies or VOLAGs are listed below with their initialisms:
- CWS: Church World Service
- ECDC: Ethiopian Community Development Council
- HIAS: Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society
- IRC: International Rescue Committee
- LIRS: Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services
- CC/USCCB: Catholic Charities/U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops
- USCRI: U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants
- EMM: Episcopal Migration Ministries
- WRI: World Relief Inc.