A defense contractor and top campaign contributor to House Appropriations Committee chairman Rep. Hal Rogers (R-KY) is in the running to get a contract to print millions of IDs and other government documents associated with the president’s planned executive amnesty, Breitbart News has learned exclusively.
The contractor, General Dynamics, is on the list of “interested vendors” for a draft solicitation that U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), an agency of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), sent out to vendors in October. If the president goes through with an executive amnesty for millions of illegal aliens and General Dynamics gets the contract, a top official with the firm told Breitbart News that he expects the printing of the documents — including ID cards, work permits and Social Security cards for illegal aliens — would occur at a facility inside Chairman Rogers’ congressional district in Kentucky.
The government facility, in Corbin, Kentucky, already prints green cards, work permits, IDs, and other documents for immigrants under a long-term multi-million-dollar General Dynamics contract with USCIS. The facility, and its efforts to eliminate the production of fraudulent green card production by including tiny images of every U.S. president on green cards, was profiled in 2011 by Government Security News magazine—a trade publication for insiders in various Homeland Security contracting fields.
“In what some may see as an excessive burst of patriotism, tiny photographs of every U.S. president — so small they can barely be seen — are printed on every new U.S. permanent resident card issued to an immigrant authorized to live and work in the United States,” Jacob Goodwin wrote for the April 2011 profile. “In fact, those presidential photos are not a demonstration of patriotism, but one of the latest steps U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, a unit of DHS known as USCIS, has taken to make the nation’s new permanent resident cards, commonly called ‘green cards,’ harder to counterfeit.”
Goodwin quotes General Dynamics Information Technology’s director for Homeland Security Programs Chris Jensen as detailing how that elaborate printing effort was done to attempt to reduce fraud by those who wish to print their own green cards.
“There are a lot of attempts to counterfeit cards,” Jensen told the magazine. “We’ll never stop the counterfeiting attempts, but we can make it hard to pass off a card as authentic.”
Goodwin detailed for the magazine how the General Dynamics IT division has been working with USCIS—“and its predecessor agencies” before the creation of the DHS post-9/11 by the George W. Bush administration, a move that drastically altered the makeup of federal immigration agencies—printing such documents together since the mid-1990s. The contracts are worth millions of dollars, and Goodwin highlighted one such contract signed in October 2010 worth $24.8 million that has General Dynamics printing the immigration documents at the Corbin, KY, facility.
“Along with its team member, LaserCard Corp. (a major card manufacturer recently acquired by HID Global), General Dynamics oversees the production of 1.5 to 2.0 million green cards each year; another 1.0 to 1.5 million cards for people with ‘temporary protected status’; 300,000 to 400,000 Transportation Worker Identification Credentials, called TWIC cards; and a slew of ‘Employment Authorization Documents,’ known as EAD cards, according to Jensen,” Goodwin wrote. “GD provides production support and quality assurance services for the processes by which an individual’s name, personal history, photo, fingerprint and other data are applied to a specific plastic card. This process occurs in a production facility in Kentucky that more closely resembles a ‘clean room’ – with workers wearing white lab coats and footies – than a factory assembly line, explained Jensen.”
Goodwin proceeded to detail the close-up operations of the creation of the documents—and General Dynamics’ lucrative role in doing so—throughout the rest of his piece. In a followup July 2013 article for Government Security News magazine, Goodwin noted how General Dynamics landed yet another contract worth millions with USCIS to print more documents and keep that Corbin, Kentucky facility rolling.
“U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) has awarded a contract worth as much as $5.5 million to the incumbent vendor, General Dynamics Information Technology, to continue to maintain the production facility in Corbin, KY, that manufactures each year millions of permanent resident cards (known as ‘Green Cards’) and Employment Authorization Document cards,” Goodwin wrote in the followup. “GD is responsible for what is called the Card Personalization System Technology Refreshment, or CPSTR, for the document production division of USCIS.”
Goodwin added that the original contract was awarded to General Dynamics on a competitive basis, but the agency now has an “indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity (IDIQ) contract” with the company—meaning General Dynamics can make millions upon millions more dollars every couple years with USCIS continuing to renew its relationship with the company for more documents.
In mid-October, Breitbart News broke the story about how the Obama administration was gearing up for a “surge” in the creation of new immigration documents like these ones. That story detailed a draft solicitation that USCIS had published seeking potential government contractors ready to handle as many as 9 million new immigrant IDs in one year sometime very soon.
The document states that such a “surge” in document production would be necessary “to support possible future immigration reform initiative requirements” and that the “guaranteed minimum for each ordering period is 4,000,000 cards. The estimated maximum for the entire contract is 34,000,000 cards.”
White House press secretary Josh Earnest originally punted when asked about this solicitation, referring Breitbart News White House correspondent Charlie Spiering to USCIS for comment. When he was asked again the day after, Earnest said he thinks it is “a relatively clever way to ask about the policy that the president has not yet announced as it relates to executive actions that he’s prepared to take to address the problems of our broken immigration system.”
When pressed by Major Garrett for a followup to that, and whether Earnest was saying the printing of the documents was “unrelated or coincidental,” Earnest dodged again.
“I’m saying there are decisions that are made by lots of agencies including the ordering of specific colored sheets of paper,” Earnest said. “Those sorts of decisions are not micro-managed by the White House.”
“Don’t be absurd with us,” Garrett pressed further. “That’s not just an ordinary colored piece of paper. It’s central to what the president has promised in public to do.”
“It’s also central to what they’re already doing,” Earnest replied. “It’s also central to what they’re already doing.”
“That’s why I asked you the question: Is it coincidental or unrelated?” Garrett followed up again.
“You would have to ask DHS about orders for green colored paper that they’ve ordered,” Earnest responded. “Not the executive order, but the order of the colored copying paper is coming from the Department of Homeland Security.”
After another minute or so of back and forth between a bewildered Garrett—visibly frustrated with Earnest refusing to confirm or deny that the solicitation from USCIS was connected to Obama’s planned executive immigration action—pressed further.
“If the president has said that ‘I’m going to do this’ and there’s a mechanism by which it can be achieved once the executive order is put in commission, and suddenly there’s this contract to print more of them, why isn’t it just obvious that that seems to be related?” Garrett asked.
Earnest dodged and continue to refuse to confirm or deny the connection, laughing off the questions before cautioning the media in the White House briefing room. “The fact of the matter is there are still decisions to be made about what that policy will entail,” Earnest said. “When we’re ready to announce that policy, we will announce it. What I will caution you against doing is making assumptions about what will be in those announcements based on the procurement practices of the Department of Homeland Security.”
Despite the unclear answers from the White House or the government in general about these contracts and draft solicitations, immigration expert Jessica Vaughan—a former State Department official who now works for the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS)—says the solicitation draft from USCIS “seems to indicate that the president is contemplating an enormous executive action that is even more expansive than the plan that Congress rejected in the ‘Gang of Eight’ bill.”
Government contracting documents not available to the public, but only to government contracting vendors, obtained by Breitbart News indicate that General Dynamics is angling for that USCIS draft solicitation assuming it turns into a contracting opportunity—which would likely be worth millions of dollars for the defense contracting company. Government contracting vendors can bid for such solicitations like the USCIS one, or pretty much any government contract, on a website called FBO.gov. “FBO” stands for “Federal Business Opportunities.”
For this specific contract for the “surge” in immigrant documents for which USCIS has circulated the draft solicitation, General Dynamics is on the “Interested Vendors List.” Much of FBO.gov is available to the public, but the “Interested Vendors List” lists for various contracts are not public information.
General Dynamics is on page three of the four-page document, embedded here, which shows many different other defense contractors are vying for the job.
When asked about its placement on the “Interested Vendors List” for this contract, Jensen with General Dynamics confirmed for Breitbart News his company is angling for it—but declined to discuss specifics. “General Dynamics is not in a position to provide details regarding any solution we might be providing to the Government in an upcoming proposal,” Jensen said in an email. “As you might imagine, we typically hold that type of information very close.”
But Jensen did say that if General Dynamics wins this contract, it does “anticipate” the federal government will make the decision to print those IDs at the Corbin, Kentucky, facility.
“We can tell you (it is public information) that the Government currently personalizes immigration card stock (prints ID cards) in its Corbin, KY, Card Production Facility,” Jensen said. “We anticipate that they will continue to do that with card stock that is delivered in future contracts, but that is a Government decision, not a General Dynamics decision.”
Corbin is a small town in Southeastern, Kentucky, a town with less than 10,000 people according to the most recent U.S. Census data in 2012. This General Dynamics-run government printing facility employs many people in the area, approximately 400 or so workers according to a local news article. The General Dynamics run government facility, and the town of Corbin, are inside the boundaries of Rogers’ district. Rogers is one of the most powerful members of Congress as he sits atop the House Appropriations Committee, a panel that doles out cash pursuant to the federal government’s budget.
General Dynamics, a massive defense contractor, has also been a major campaign contributor to Rogers—and to pretty much everyone else on the House and Senate Appropriations Committees.
In early 2013, Roll Call’s Kent Cooper detailed how the General Dynamics PAC “gave out $73,000 for federal candidates and committees during February” and focused its donations on House and Senate appropriators. “House Appropriations recipients included chairman Hal Rogers (R-KY); Defense subcommittee chairman Bill Young (R-FL); Jo Bonner (R-AL); Kay Granger (R-TX); Ken Calvert (R-CA); Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL); Betty McCollum (D-MN); Peter Visclosky (D-IN); Steve Womack (R-AR),” Cooper wrote.
According to the Center for Responsive Politics, just this past election cycle, Rogers received $10,000 in donations from General Dynamics. In the 2010 cycle, Rogers received $8,500 from the company.
When asked if he or General Dynamics had any communications with Rogers about this forthcoming potential contract from USCIS, Jensen said he wouldn’t comment on that.
“Sorry… can’t speak to that at all,” Jensen said in an email.
Rogers’ office has not responded to multiple requests for comment over several days about these matters.
These revelations could explain Rogers’ hard push for funding the federal government in an omnibus bill that would fund everything—including the president’s planned executive amnesty—through next September, when the 2015 fiscal year ends. While Rogers has been successful in enlisting House GOP leadership in his strategy—publicly touting how House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy backs the strategy—those throughout the rank and file seem to be opposed to it. Rep. Matt Salmon (R-AZ) has enlisted more than 50 Republican members to sign a letter to Rogers, pressuring him and leadership to back a strategy of cutting the funding off from Obama’s attempts to grant executive amnesty.
Many conservatives have wondered why Rogers, whose spokeswoman Jennifer Hing previously told Breitbart News that Rogers thinks Congress not President Obama should set immigration policy, is aiming to forfeit Congress’ power of the purse on this issue. When asked last week, Hing wouldn’t guarantee to Breitbart News that Rogers would uphold Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus’s promise to voters to block funding for Obama’s executive amnesty if voters delivered the U.S. Senate majority to Republicans, as they did. Rogers could do that by either doing a short-term funding bill that would allow the new Senate GOP majority to include the defunding language in a bill early next year, or including the defunding language in a long-term bill. Priebus has pledged to follow through on the promise after the election as well, but Rogers has been leading a charge to break it.
“I cannot speculate on the outcomes of negotiations that are ongoing,” Hing said when asked specifically if Rogers will uphold Priebus’s promise.
“Chairman Rogers believes that immigration policies should be set by the Congress through the appropriate legislative process by elected Representatives of the People,” Hing added—without confirming whether the chairman will use the power he has as Appropriations Committee chairman to ensure that that vision he has on immigration is followed.
To use the power of the purse that Congress, and specifically the House of Representatives, is endowed with via the U.S. Constitution to block Obama’s executive amnesty, Republicans would need to withhold funding for the production of any documents necessary for the implementation of such an amnesty. Essentially, despite claims from the mainstream media, Obama’s amnesty will go a step further than deferring deportations—multiple reports from the office of incoming Senate Budget Committee chairman Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) prove that Obama has already administratively deferred deportation for all but a small sliver, about .08 percent, of illegal aliens. Obama’s amnesty would confer upon illegal aliens in America a temporary legalized status complete with work permits—something that requires the illegal aliens be given Social Security cards—and ID cards that would likely come from the federal government since many states are likely to resist.
But if Congress makes it illegal for President Obama to use taxpayer money to print up such documents, illegal aliens technically can’t get the legal status that Obama wants to confer upon them because they won’t have documents necessary to work, get jobs—jobs they’d likely be taking away from some of the tens of millions of underemployed Americans—and contribute to society as legal residents.
Rogers, as the chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, is the point person on the allocation of government funds. And even as many Republicans on both sides of Capitol Hill begin lining up behind Sessions’ plan to stop Obama, Rogers said in an interview with the Washington Post he would be “disappointed” if Republicans didn’t approve a unilateral omnibus spending bill that funds the entire government including executive amnesty through next September.
In a headline asking why Rogers is “caving to Obama on executive amnesty,” Town Hall magazine editor Conn Carroll questions why Rogers “is determined to rubber stamp Obama’s lawlessness by passing a long-term government funding bill.” Meanwhile, Richard Viguerie’s ConservativeHQ ran a post last week calling Rogers “Obama’s greatest ally in the amnesty battle.” Viguerie’s group asks conservative grassroots activists to call their Republican members of Congress to pressure them to not “fall for the trap” of Rogers’ long-term omnibus spending deal, and its expected funding of Obama’s amnesty.
Now this immigration document printing facility by a campaign contributor inside his congressional district seems to be a potential reason why Rogers has resisted what Republican leaders like even Priebus have promised to do: Stop Obama’s executive amnesty at all costs, and use the power of the purse to block it. And it could also, good government leaders like Judicial Watch’s Tom Fitton told Breitbart News, be a sign of something much more sinister like crony capitalism.
“There is a special interest for everything in Washington, even for lawbreaking,” Fitton said. “It is no surprise major government contractors are lining up to help President Obama implement his plans to further violate immigration law and his oath of office. I suspect the vendors on the list will pretend the contract has nothing to do with lawless amnesty. It may help the CEO’s get to sleep at night, but it won’t fool the American people. Does General Dynamics have a position on President Obama’s lawless amnesty? And this will be a test for Representative Hal Rogers. Will the powerful Republican criticize a major supporter and local employer?”