Ethnic Community Based Organizations (ECBOs): Rules and Regs

This is today’s installment on ECBOs we first told you about here and here the other day.

Now, here is the link at the US Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Office of Refugee Resettlement where you can find the rules for seeking grants as an ECBO.  I maintain that the proliferation of ethnic “community organizing” groups such as these foster a continued division in American society.  It is only natural that instead of protecting rights of all Americans they will seek to work for their “own people” while all the rest of us pay the bills. 

We will be writing a lot about ECBOs in the future, but two little aspects of the rules and regulations that interested me today are as follows.   First, I wondered if an ECBO must be a federally approved 501(c)3 organization—a designation that requires a significant amount of documentation and is a very time consuming and detailed review of the group and its goals.  If 501(c)3 status was a requirement to receive hundreds of thousands in federal grants, it could help protect the US taxpayer to some degree.   But apparently that is not required.   One need only supply the following document issued in the group’s home state:

A certified copy of the organization’s certificate of incorporation or similar document that clearly establishes non-profit status.

So that means, for example, that the East Africa Community of Colorado where four Somali men paid $50 and created an organization with a simple form may now turn around and apply for a grant under this program.   I will bet you a buck that is their plan.   See other Somali community organizing groups that presently have such grants in this list.

But check this out!  Got a problem with one in your community getting involved in politics, politics of their country of origin, or maybe pushing their culture or religion? They could be breaking the law if they are using grant money for these purposes.

Funds will not be awarded to applicants for the purpose of engaging in activities of a distinctly political nature, activities designed exclusively to promote the preservation of a specific cultural heritage, or activities with an international objective (i.e., activities related to events in the refugees’ country of origin).

See anything like that going on, start keeping a record!  I’ve heard this is happening with ECBOs—getting involved in politics here and abroad—let’s see if we can start documenting any rule breaking!

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