Funding Catastrophe: Congress Approves Omnibus Spending Bill

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By Michael W. Cutler

Mike is a Senior Fellow with CAPS and retired INS Senior Special Agent. During his 30-year career with the INS he rotated through all of the squads within the Investigations Branch. He was assigned to the Unified Intelligence Division of the DEA and for 10 years was assigned, as an INS Senior Special Agent, to the Organized Crime, Drug Enforcement Task Force. He has testified at numerous hearings conducted by committees and subcommittees of the House and Senate and provided testimony to the 9/11 Commission.

He hosts "The Michael Cutler Hour" on USA Talk Radio Fridays at 7 p.m. (EST) and is frequently interviewed by broadcast media on various aspects of immigration issues, especially the nexus to national security.

The writer's views are his own.

January 7, 2016

My mom used to tell me, “Actions speak louder than words.”

On December 18, 2015, Congress voted to approve the 2,009-page Omnibus spending bill, also known as the “Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2016.” As a consequence, Congress became the Obama Administration’s enablers and, indeed, “partners in crime.”

Depending on your orientation, this bill provided nearly something for everyone, or much of what most Americans do not want, especially where immigration and national security are concerned.

Even though many politicians verbally echoed the concerns of their constituents – complaining bitterly before the television cameras and radio microphones about the resettlement of Syrian refugees in the United States – they nevertheless acted by voting for the $1.1 trillion bill that included funding for the resettlement of Syrian refugees, who according to authorities no less than James Comey, the Director of the FBI, and Michael Steinbach, the FBI’s Assistant Director for Counterterrorism, cannot be vetted.

The purse strings were also loosened to fund legal assistance – at the expense of American taxpayers, of course – for aliens facing deportation (removal) from the U.S. While defendants of criminal prosecutions are entitled to free legal defense, illegal aliens have never been afforded that benefit. Yet, the Administration decided to provide free legal assistance to illegal aliens. Members of Congress who voted for the spending bill are providing the money to fund this program.

Although in the wake of the murder of Kate Steinle in San Francisco much was made about having the federal government defund so-called “Sanctuary Cities” under “Kate’s Law,” no wording was added to the legislation to defund programs for such sanctuary cities.

Sanctuary Cities, it is important to note, undermine the integrity of the immigration system. Such cities aid, abet, encourage and induce aliens to enter the U.S. and remain thereafter without authority by harboring them and shielding them from detection from the federal government. CAPS has launched a campaign to end sanctuary cities. Add your voice to the campaign here.

These actions constitute elements of crimes under federal law, Title 8, United States Code, Section 1324, that deems such actions to be felonies under the smuggling and harboring statutes of the Immigration and Nationality Act of the United States. 

While on the topic of harboring and encouraging illegal aliens to enter the U.S. illegally and remain thereafter without authority, we must consider the Administration’s contested executive orders and policies to provide illegal aliens with temporary lawful status and employment authorization.

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeal has issued an injunction against this insane program. However, if that injunction is ultimately lifted by the Supreme Court, the spending bill did not include language to defund this program.

The spending bill also triples the number of H-2B visas issued to low and unskilled foreign nonimmigrant workers by removing the number of returning H-2B visa holders from the annual limit on such foreign workers.

The bill also continues the EB-5 Immigrant Visa Program for Investors. A recent report by ABC News, “Are Suspected Criminals, Spies and Terrorists Buying Their Way into America?” highlighted the national security dangers to this program, and an August 12, 2015, ABC News report on this program looked at how “Dozens of Fraud Investigations Target U.S. Immigration Program for Rich Foreigners.”

The entire immigration system lacks integrity and mirrors the lack of integrity of all too many of our elected politicians. This was the focus of my recent article for The Daily Caller, “Immigration: A Matter of Integrity – Or a Lack Thereof.”

Lobbyists and representatives of many corporations and special interest groups, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, are getting what they want: a virtually limitless supply of foreign workers and foreign students. Meanwhile, America and Americans are paying the price in money, shattered careers and sometimes the loss of innocent lives.

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