US Bishops on their knees begging for more taxpayer dollars

Your tax dollars!

I guess they didn’t learn from the recent controversy over free birth control and Sandra Fluke‘s attack on Georgetown University (and the Catholic Church) that once you take Caesar’s money, Caesar expects payback.    Yesterday I posted at my other blog a story about how the Bishops are back lobbying Congress for your tax dollars for their “charitable” work.  (See my post on their groveling expedition last year here).

Then last night I found this interesting little nugget when re-reading that scintillating 2008 Annual Report to Congress on the Refugee Program.  Although this is a tiny drop of the millions the USCCB gets from the federal treasury, it is enlightening.

In 1988, the Bishops set up a legal clinic ostensibly for the poor IMMIGRANT (what about poor Americans?).  Fine and dandy if that is what they want to do with their parishioners’ charity, but about a half million dollars of their budget every year comes from all of you.   Here is the history of CLINIC:

In 1988, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) established CLINIC as a legally distinct 501(c)(3) organization to support a rapidly growing network of community-based immigration programs. CLINIC’s network originally comprised 17 programs. It has since increased to 201 diocesan and other affiliated immigration programs with 290 field offices in 47 states.  The network employs roughly 1,200 BIA accredited representatives and attorneys who, in turn, serve 600,000 low-income immigrants each year.

CLINIC doesn’t just help the poor IMMIGRANTS with their legal needs, it gets political.  Here, for example, they are opposing the Arizona Law.

Asylee Hotline funded by feds

For readers who don’t know about asylum, it is the other side of the refugee coin.  Refugees are screened abroad and we fly them here, asylum seekers arrive on their own steam at our borders and ask for asylum.   Refugees get all their welfare goodies almost immediately, asylum seekers must first be granted asylum then they can sign up for public assistance (subsidized housing, job training, food stamps, medical care, etc.).

Here Open Borders immigration lawyer Jason Dzubow tells us about how the number of asylum seekers is mushrooming.   When the Kennedy/Biden Refugee Act of 1980 was passed and signed by Jimmy Carter, asylum seekers were a rarity — the odd Russian ballet dancer for example.   In 2011, 74,000 asylum seekers “found their way” to our borders (top three sending countries—China, Mexico, and India).   They claimed political, religious, or sexual orientation persecution in their home countries.  In reality, most are economic migrants making up whoppers about being persecuted!   [By the way, I reported here that I think NGO’s are actually giving these “asylum seekers” guidance.]

Back to that little nugget about CLINIC and its taxpayer-funded grant in 2008.  They got a quarter of a million bucks for an asylee hotline where an asylee could call in and find out how to “access benefits and services” (where to find the local welfare office) (p. 36):

Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc., ($250,000) for an asylee hotline. The Catholic Legal
Immigration Network, Inc. (CLINIC) operated an asylum hotline, which provided outreach and
service referral to individuals granted asylum. During FY 2008, the multilingual operators
received a total of 4,131 calls from asylees who were uncertain on where to access benefits and
services. Unlike refugees who come with a direct link to the voluntary resettlement agencies,
asylum seekers have no such connection.

You paid $60 per phone call.  And, you can bet some were from asylum seekers looking for a lawyer!

Here is my question, if this is a needed service, why are we giving tax dollars to an unaccountable-to-the-taxpayer non-profit group?  This project could just as well be run from a hotline at the Dept. of Health and Human Services (where presumably our elected officials would have oversight).  Is it just to continue to keep federal government tentacles in the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, so they won’t squawk so much when the likes of Sandra Fluke insists that Georgetown University give students free birth control?