DHS inspector general: Nonprofits using millions in taxpayer funds to help ‘gotaways’ evade border authorities

by WorldTribune Staff, April 4, 2023

Illegal immigrants who evaded U.S. authorities in crossing the southern border were given funds that were awarded to nonprofit organizations by the federal government, according to a report by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Office of Inspector General.

Several nonprofits received more than $100 million from the federal government to feed and house illegal immigrants who were released from federal custody at the U.S.-Mexico border failed to adhere to the law and abused the funding, the DHS IG report said.

The organizations, which were given Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) funds to respond to the border crisis regularly failed to submit receipts with reimbursement requests and used money on illegal immigrants who should not have received taxpayer funds, the report said.

Auditors found that groups that did report names and identifying information for the immigrants they served had spent money assisting immigrants who were not lawfully released at the border and allowed to remain in the United States. Instead, immigrants who crossed the border illegally and got away requested assistance from nonprofit groups and in turn received federal money, the DHS IG’s office said.

Recipients “did not always provide the required receipts or documentation for claimed reimbursements,” and “some of the [local recipient organizations] were unable to provide supporting documentation for families and individuals to whom they provided services,” according to the report.

FEMA was awarded $110 million in the American Rescue Plan of 2021 to disperse among nonprofit groups on the border. At the time of the IG’s audit, $80 million had been awarded to groups in Arizona, California, New Mexico, and Texas.

The organizations which received federal funds were supposed to provide proof of how much money was spent, daily reports of how many immigrants they served, and itemized receipts with proof of payment. Several organizations did not submit the required paperwork, the report said.

Still, with millions in taxpayer funds not accounted for, Team Biden still intends to distribute the money to nonprofit organizations.

The inspector general recommended FEMA implement a risk-based process to better award future federal dollars.

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