Exclusive–American Taxpayers Charged Millions to Provide Illegal Aliens with Free Lawyers

Large groups of migrants swarm the border in Arizona as Biden officials restart the Trump-era Remain in Mexico Program. (U.S. Border Patrol/Yuma Sector)
U.S. Border Patrol/Yuma Sector

American taxpayers, often unbeknownst to them, are being charged to the sum of millions to provide illegal aliens in various cities with free legal representation, an investigation exclusively shared with Breitbart News reveals.

The Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI) reviewed expenditures for cities that have implemented a deportation defense program that provides illegal aliens and foreign nationals with free legal representation to fight their deportations from the United States.

“Under U.S. law, illegal aliens and other non-citizens facing deportation orders do not have a right to legal representation because immigration law is a civil matter, not a criminal one,” IRLI investigators note.

The costs, as a result, are falling on American taxpayers. For Fiscal Year 2022, IRLI investigators estimate that taxpayers in 22 cities that have deportation defense programs will be charged at least $5.2 million to provide illegal aliens with free lawyers.

IRLI investigators said this estimate is conservative and does not include many other localities that have similar in-house deportation defense programs.

“These programs are an insult to every law-abiding American citizen and legal resident,” IRLI Executive Director Dale Wilcox told Breitbart News. “Our laws clearly state that non-citizens charged with civil offenses do not have a right to legal representation. Yet we have radical anti-borders groups starting these programs and sticking unknowing citizens with the bill. It’s outrageous.”

In Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, for example, city officials revealed to IRLI investigators that they do not provide any oversight over their deportation defense program despite using hundreds of thousands of dollars to fund it.

IRLI investigators detailed the admission:

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney announced the creation of the Pennsylvania Immigrant Family Unity Project (PAIFUP) in 2019, a collaboration between [the Vera Institute of Justice] and the city as a way to combat the alleged “hate” emanating from the Trump administration. PAIFUP was launched in 2019 with $100,000 from city taxpayers and another $200,000 from Vera and the Samuel S. Fels Fund, bringing a grand total of $300,000. The program was put in jeopardy in 2020 amid the COVID-19 pandemic, a time when nationwide lockdowns shuttered innumerable businesses, resulting in mass layoffs and leaving government budgets obliterated. [Emphasis added]

The Philadelphia government, faced with steep budget cuts, was poised to nix the program. However, the city’s leaders somehow not only found a way to maintain the program amid a financial crisis, but doubled taxpayer commitment to $200,000 for next fiscal year. According to the PAIFUP’s website, there are “no eligibility criteria other than income and a lack of private counsel,” adding that they do not “exclude individuals based on prior criminal convictions, residency, or any other reason.” [Emphasis added]

IRLI submitted a records request with the city of Philadelphia for a complete list of the charges (excluding any Personally Identifiable information (PII)) associated with those represented by PAIFUP and all operational guidance handed to program administrators by the city.) That request was denied by the city. In response to an IRLI appeal, the City of Philadelphia stated clearly that it can’t provide such information simply because it does not provide any sort of management or oversight over the program – despite providing hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars annually to the program. [Emphasis added]

In Fort Collins, Colorado, the city council passed an ordinance that established a deportation defense program — costing local residents $150,000. Two city council members were involved in passing the measure despite their conflicts of interest with the Family Center/La Familia, an open borders group that provides legal representation to illegal aliens.

Already, American taxpayers pay enormous costs for illegal immigration.

The latest estimate from the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) suggests that illegal aliens cost Americans about $134 billion annually. This estimate does not factor in the lost wages that Americans often are faced with as a result of increased foreign competition in the labor market.

This year, alone, FAIR estimates that President Joe Biden’s mass release of illegal aliens over the last 12 months will cost American taxpayers at least $6.6 billion. There are about 11 to 22 million illegal aliens living in the U.S.

John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Email him at jbinder@breitbart.com. Follow him on Twitter here. 

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