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Strengthening Immigration Reform: Amendment Adding Accountability To Grant Programs Passes

May 9, 2013 | Press Releases

Rubio: “What we’ve always worked on is a starting point. We worked with eight people, four Republicans and four Democrats, crafted what I think is an excellent starting point. Now we’re asking our colleagues for suggestions about how to improve it.” (CBS “This Morning,” 5/9/13)

CONCERN WITH ORIGINAL BILL: Some critics alleged that the bill creates a grant program that liberal activist groups will use to indoctrinate immigrants with their liberal views under the guise of taxpayer-funded citizenship training because there is no accountability on how the money will be spent.

  • Center for Immigration Services: “A Washington group is criticizing the Senate immigration bill because it allows for up to $150 million for organizations to advertise citizenship opportunities and to help illegal immigrants sign up to become citizens. The nonpartisan Center for Immigration Services calls the money ‘slush funds’ and earlier this week cited several concerns — particularly that the money can go to the same groups that helped craft the legislation and that the spending appears to have no cap or oversight. ‘It’s virtually a blank check,’ Jon Feere, a Center for Immigration Services legal policy analyst, told ‘And the groups that helped draft this bill can now give themselves taxpayer dollars.’” (“Bill allows for $150M in grants to sign up illegal immigrants to become citizens,” FOX, 5/5/13)

HOW THE AMENDMENT STRENGTHENS THE BILL: Senators were able to identify ways to improve accountability for how grants are spent by non-profit groups. The Grassley 24 amendment increases oversight and accountability on federal grants by requiring audits and disclosure reports, among other requirements, including annual certification of grant recipients.

All of the amendments submitted to the Committee on the Judiciary are available online for review here