The Daily Caller’s Vince Coglianese and Alex Pappas contributed to this report.
Left-wing groups are using taxpayers’ money to advance a “misleading” anti-Donald Trump agenda and are pushing for green card holders to naturalize in order to vote against the GOP front-runner, Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions tells The Daily Caller.
“The left has always done this,” Sessions said during an interview at his Senate office last week.
“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.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) also has an annual grant program in place to help advance citizenship among immigrant populations. Non-profit groups are given $250,000 to help lawful permanent residents apply for citizenship.
But while the citizenship drives have historically been non-partisan, some groups have seized on a potential Trump presidency to scare green card holders into naturalizing in order to vote against the businessman and his platform of tougher immigration laws.
Sessions, who is perhaps the staunchest advocate of immigration control in Congress, is one of Trump’s closest advisers on immigration issues. The 69-year-old former federal prosecutor told TheDC last week that he is open to running as Trump’s vice president. (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: Sessions Open To Being Trump’s Running Mate — ‘I Would Consider It’)
Should Trump pick Sessions as his running mate the candidate will have chosen one of the few members of Congress who is willing to assert that the open borders agenda is a huge boon to Democrats. Most Republican critics of mass immigration shy away from making the connection.
“They use it in a way to maximize their political advantage,” Sessions said of the non-profit groups’ efforts to sign up more citizens and voters.
“So they seek to influence immigrants — presumably, these are lawful immigrants — to vote their way. And some of them have difficulty with the language and knowing the complexity of the issues, and a lot of these groups are misleading the people as to what the issues are and they do not deserve federal money.”
Sessions identified recent reporting from TheDC which drew attention to the Obama administration’s funding for the anti-Trump groups.
“Several months ago, [TheDC] wrote a great piece that pointed out funding levels that I was not aware of and I don’t think the American people are fully aware of, but it’s wrong to use taxpayers’ money to openly advocate for one candidate,” said Sessions. “Or to act like a quasi-government agency in telling people you have to register to vote so you can vote against another candidate.”
Millions of dollars in federal funding has flowed to the groups, which include outfits such as Instituto del Progresso Latino, Asian Americans Advancing Justice and The Resurrection Project. All have called for the communities they serve to vote against Trump in November.
Several groups that received or have recently received federal funds for naturalization programs also took part in a May Day rally in Los Angeles in which Trump was likened to a member of the Ku Klux Klan. (RELATED: Federally-Funded Groups Take Part In Anti-Trump May Day Rallies)
The Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA) organized the event, which was noted for a large cartoon balloon of Trump carrying a KKK hood. CHIRLA received a $250,000 citizenship grant from USCIS as recently as 2014.
Asian Americans Advancing Justice (AAAJ) and Central American Resource Center of Los Angeles (CARECEN) — which received USCIS funding in the most recent round of grants — also took part in the May Day rally. CARECEN’s executive director, Martha Arevalo, was also front-and-center at the rally.
“Today we fight for justice and we say no to hate,” she told attendees, reminding them to vote in the June 7 California primary.
“Don’t forget there’s much more work to be done in June,” she added.
And earlier this month NPNA — the group that helps lead Obama’s Networks for Integrating New Americans program — organized a conference call with reporters to tout a new coalition it had formed called “Stop the Hate.” The plan, according to NPNA executive director Joshua Hoyt, was to naturalize 1 million green card holders for the purposes of voting against Trump and Republicans.
Also mentioned on the call was an effort by some coalition members to register teenagers to vote at high schools located in battleground states.