Omnibus Spending Bill Does Not Secure the Border, but Further Incentivizes and Enables Illegal Immigration, Charges FAIR

The 117th Congress finally wrapped up business by approving a lame-duck, pork-laden $1.7 trillion spending bill – consisting of more than 4,000 pages that not a single member had the time to read and fully analyze – funding the federal government through the remainder of the fiscal year.

Omnibus Spending Bill Does Not Secure the Border, but Further Incentivizes and Enables Illegal Immigration, Charges FAIR

WASHINGTON (Dec. 23, 2022) /PRNewswire/ -- Finally, the 117th Congress approved a pork-laden spending bill worth $1.7 trillion. It was more than 4,000 pages long and took the entire Congress time to fully understand. This bill will fund the federal government for the remainder of the fiscal calendar year.

The passage of the Omnibus coincides closely with a crisis at our southern border. This is because the Biden administration is near to ending Title 42. Title 42 is the last mechanism that allows a small number of border-crossers to be removed from the country. The Democratic-led Congress rejected an amendment to Title 42 and explicitly prohibited increased funding for U.S. Customs and Border Protection, (CBP), from being used to secure our border.

"The final spending bill approved by a Congress as they were leaving the door leaves no doubt that chaos at border is the policy today of the Democratic Party and that their goal it is to create more of it," stated Dan Stein, president of FAIR. "Only a party which affirmatively supports open borders, regardless of the security and humanitarian costs, would allow the last policy that allows for the swift removal of illegal migrants to be withdrawn and tie the hands with our border enforcement agency.

Let's be clear: the president can restore operational border control by simply enforcing existing laws - many of them he voted for while a senator. Instead, he and his party claim they inherited a broken system. They broke it deliberately and they are blocking efforts to fix it.

The Omnibus is solely focused on illegal alien processing and transportation to overwhelmed communities across the United States. Stein concluded that this massive spending bill effectively transforms CBP into a federally managed travel agency for illegal aliens. It also burdens state and local governments for the cost of education, housing, and other essential needs in order to deal with the unending flow of illegal aliens that the Biden administration has allowed into the country.

Below is a list of the most harmful provisions regarding immigration included in the Omnibus Spending Bill at the Instigation of Democrats. Also, proposals that were defeated thanks in part to FAIR’s aggressive lobbying efforts. :

Harmful provisions in the Omnibus

CBP provides $1.563 billion to "border management", but it does not permit the use of those funds to deport illegal aliens, hire permanent border security officers or to expand border security capabilities and technologies unless they are improving the processing process for illegal aliens. It is not border management. Instead, it costs $1.563 billion to convert CBP into an illegal alien federal travel agency.

This $800 million grant program is available to open-border aligned charities and non-governmental organizations. It provides funding for "sheltering, other services", with grants of up to $800 million. This large appropriation could be seen as an incentive to illegally enter the United States. There is no prohibition on funds being distributed to interior organizations, so illegal aliens could be shelter throughout the country.

In certain areas, it is prohibited to use funds for the construction of border walls.

The Office of Refugee Resettlement is allowed to accept donations from political organizations in order to care for unaccompanied alien children.

This fund provides funds to CBP as well as ICE for unaccompanied alien children. It is clear that domestic transport in the United States is a significant part of CBP/ICE operations. Parents will be tempted to pay smugglers for their children's safe and dangerous journey to the southern border.

This fund will provide millions to a controversial pilot program for case management that assists illegal aliens who are facing deportation. It is being managed by a nonprofit which has called for the defunding of ICE.

The Justice Department provides $29 million to the Legal Orientation Program. This program empowers NGOs and allows them to coach large numbers of detained aliens in immigration court proceedings. This program's effectiveness is questionable as it doesn't provide legal advice to aliens. Additionally, aliens who use the program are less likely get an attorney and take longer to resolve. Program participant organizations can blur the lines between basic information and legal advice.

This grant provides $25 million for the USCIS Citizenship and Integration Grant Program. It is used by many of those same NGOs that receive federal grant money to process illegal immigrants. This self-congratulatory grant program is routinely given to organizations involved in active litigation against DHS. It does not improve the administration of immigration.

It is up to the DHS inspector general to decide whether funds are allocated for partnerships between local and state law enforcement in order to enforce immigration laws. Although the DHS Office of Inspector General appears to be an independent auditor, there have been reports of bias by political parties. Already, we have seen the dangers of an administration refusing to use the 287(g), program. The Obama era saw many cancelled agreements. The Congress is effectively giving up control of an important force multiplier in immigration enforcement.

Detention contracts can be cancelled based on arbitrary performance assessments.

Increase discretionary authority to DHS to issue H-2B guest worker visas more than the cap permits. This displaces American workers, and lowers wages.

This program provides funds to reduce processing backlogs, expedite adjudications of Afghan Special Immigrant visa cases, and a cap increase up to 4,000. Recent reports reveal that many Afghans participating in the program are not properly vetted and pose a risk to national security and public safety. Any action taken to speed up processing will reduce security checks and further vet activities, and increase the risk.

All budget increases aimed at immigration enforcement are below inflation. Unprecedented border crises require funds at the appropriate levels. The increases are simply not sufficient.

One of the most damaging immigration proposals that were withdrawn or defeated during the lame duck was:

In exchange for a weakened Title 42 and other meaningless promises regarding future immigration enforcement, Senators Kyrsten Silena (I-Ariz.), and Thom Tillis(R-N.C.) proposed a mass amnesty.

The Afghan Adjustment Act would have allowed permanent residence to unvetted Afghans who were permitted to enter the country by President Biden's misuse of parole authority. The vast majority of Afghans who arrived in America after the disastrous withdrawal of the Obama administration in 2021 did not play any role in aiding U.S. forces.

A bill for agriculture that includes both an amnesty to illegal aliens and an expanded guest worker program. The most fraudulent immigration program in American history was the last farmworker amnesty. It was drafted in part by Chuck Schumer, the current Senate Majority Leader.

The Biden Administration attempted to reduce ICE detention capacity 30 percent.

The Sinema-Tester Amendment to the Omnibus, which sought more efficient processing and release of illegal aliens into our country.

The EAGLE Act would have seen more than 90% of employment-based green card holders be citizens of China and India.

The Veterans Service Recognition Act, also known as the Misleading Veterans Service Recognition Act, would have allowed illegal alien relatives of veterans to be granted amnesty and allowed deported criminals return to the U.S.

Ron Kovach at 202-328-7001 or EMAIL.


FAIR was founded in 1979 and is the largest national immigration reform group. FAIR has over 3,000,000 members and supporters across the country. It fights for policies that are in the national interest, not just special interests. FAIR believes immigration reform should improve national security, increase the economy, protect workers, preserve our environment, establish a rule-of-law that is recognized, enforced, and respected.

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SOURCE Federation for American Immigration Reform, (FAIR).