In an interview with the Daily Caller, Alabama Senator (and vocal Trump supporter) Jeff Sessions has called out supposedly independent groups who are pushing new naturalization and voter registration of immigrants, ostensibly for the purpose of voting against The Donald. These efforts seem to fly under the media radar for the most part, but are frequent subjects of conversation in Democratic circles. Sessions seeks to draw some direct lines between taxpayer dollars going into these efforts and the partisan nature of the motivational speeches given to prospective citizens/voters.
“The left has always sought to use taxpayers’ money to advance their agenda. So they’ve got some very aggressive left-wing groups, supported by [progressive billionaire] George Soros and Open Society and some of these other open borders groups, and they get money from President Obama.”
Numerous non-profit organizations have been involved in efforts to convert green card holders into naturalized citizens in order to vote against Trump in November. Many are funded, in part, through Soros’ Open Society network of foundations. Some have received help from the Mexican government.
And others are being backed by the Obama administration, which launched a citizenship drive initiative called Networks for Integrating New Americans in 2014, before Trump’s rise. The effort, which is spearheaded by a coalition of pro-immigration groups called the National Partnership for New Americans (NPNA), is intended to help more green card holders obtain U.S. citizenship.
I can see what Sessions is driving at here and it’s pretty hard to argue that this is not only the intent of liberal activists, but a pattern designed to take advantage of demographic shifts which favor Democrats. But at the same time, there’s a difference between the practical effects of such activities and a solid, follow the money sort of accusation of wrongdoing. If it could be demonstrably proven that tax dollars were being used for political purposes specific to one party there would be cause for investigations and the possible suspension of any government funding. In this case, however, it’s more than a bit tricky.
Whether it’s George Soros pouring millions into non-profits or the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services giving grants to groups which assist legal immigrants and green card holders in their efforts to become citizens, these are supposedly politically neutral activities. No immigrant who accepts such assistance in navigating the naturalization process is under any obligation to support either political party in the future so there’s no typing of binding contract in place to point to. And since it’s generally accepted that the goal of immigration is to get acceptable candidates into the ranks of our citizens and taxpayers, ascribing some partisan motive to them is rather hard to prove.
The practical upshot is generally going to be a win for Democrats and liberals because of the endless media barrage of stories about how Republicans hate immigrants and Democrats are the party of marginalized, etc. etc. That’s a fairly easy sell, and the Democrats clean up at the polls every year with both Hispanic and black immigrants, so pushing efforts such as these is a no brainer for them. But, as I said above, proving the quid pro quo would be a tough hill to climb. There’s nothing wrong with Sessions pointing it out as a matter of defining the electoral battle, but I wouldn’t expect to see any serious change to the system coming any time soon.