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Florida Grand Jury Says Immigration NGOs Are Misappropriating Millions Worth of Federal Funds

Despite a lack of accountability and as much as 70% going toward salaries, DHS Secretary recently upped their funding to $1.4 billion

Florida Grand Jury Says Immigration NGOs Are Misappropriating Millions Worth of Federal Funds

A Florida grand jury investigation has found that multiple nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) are misappropriating millions of dollars of federal funds to facilitate the migration of illegal aliens to the U.S.

In the 146-page report to the Supreme Court of Florida, the grand jury explains that NGOs “appear to be misusing federal contract monies and their ‘nonprofit’ status in order to abet the process, and likely the actors, responsible for” smuggling and trafficking migrants to the U.S.

The findings were reached during an investigation into illegal immigration after roughly 450 hours in session, interviewing more than 100 witnesses from Florida as well as Mexico, Argentina, and Panama.

Also included were hours of video, stacks of materials several feet high, and interviews with individuals including (but not limited to) intelligence officers, attorneys, financial analysts, NGO employees, activists, immigrants, victims, caseworkers, and even criminal defendants.

“We learned that, if anything, many Floridians are ... almost dangerously naïve and unaware of the true magnitude and malevolence of the illegal immigration industry,” the report states. “What we discovered has been at varying times sobering, upsetting, depressing, and the cause of significant outrage.”

The report adds:

The short answer is that there are most certainly crimes being committed, including by some of our fellow state residents, which abet transnational and local criminal organizations and individuals in their trafficking of people (including and especially children), criminal actors, fraudulent documents, and drugs into our state, extracting money in return. These crimes are sometimes actually enabled by governmental agencies, policies, and activities; and there are things that can be done about them.

We are also convinced that, because the driving forces are largely federal policies, and political incentives seem to not prioritize solving the problems, it will be up to Florida and other states to help themselves, at least in the short term. We herein propose several ways that might happen.

According to the grand jury findings, NGOs are not spending federal grant money to convince foreigners not to risk a life-threatening odyssey to the U.S. Rather, they are magnifying the illusion of economic prosperity at the end of their journey.

NGOs are also providing cash cards, cell phones, transport vehicles and detailed guide maps through portions of jungle and across deadly terrain, increasing the number of people who choose to make the journey and “enabling transnational criminal organizations to amass fabulous wealth and a bottomless pool of victims in the process.”

Concerning federal grant money, the grand jury found that the funds are not spent accountably.

One example cited a March 2023 Homeland Security Inspector General audit of money awarded to FEMA’s Emergency Food and Shelter Program which was used by NGOs to assist illegal aliens encountered at the southern border.

Of the $12.9 million that was examined, NGOs were unable to account for $7.4 million (58 percent).

Nonetheless, as the grand jury notes, the FEMA program still sent another $77 million, bringing the total to roughly $291 million this year alone.

Witness testimony and annual reports show that in some cases more than 70 percent of the funds received are going toward salaries (with many executives earning several hundred thousand dollars per year) and “expenses” unrelated to serving migrants.

Despite the government being aware of the lack of accountability, DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas recently requested an additional $1.4 billion to be awarded to the same program.

“The river of accountability-free money has absolutely polluted the entire process,” the report states.

NGOs refused to cooperate with the inquiry, obstructing the investigation by refusing to provide subpoenaed information, and refusing to answer direct questions.

The report recommends that Florida officials form another statewide grand jury solely to investigate the “questionable activities” of NGOs receiving federal funds to assist migrants.

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