A former Trump administration official and two Republican lawmakers are demanding an immediate investigation from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) over an advocacy group’s use of $8.5 million taxpayer dollars.
Alianza Americas, a pro-mass immigration group funded by liberal billionaire George Soros, may have unlawfully used funds granted by agencies under HHS, according to Friday letters by Brian Harrison, the former chief of staff of the department, Reps. Chip Roy (R-Texas) and Beth Van Duyne (R-Texas). Federal grants are banned under U.S. law from being leveraged to weigh on government positions on legislation or policies, including lobbying.
“Despite statutory and regulatory restrictions on lobbying for recipients of federal funding from all federal agencies, forms submitted to the Internal Revenue Service by Alianza Americas appear to show activity in direct violation of the law and federal regulations,” Roy and Van Duyne wrote in an Oct. 21 joint letter sent to HHS Deputy Inspector General Christi Grimm, calling for “a review of all grants received by Alianza Americas as well as the publicly disclosed actions” taken by the group.
Besides calling to defund U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Alianza Americas launched in September a lawsuit against Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis after the state flew illegal immigrants to Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts under the governor’s order. Official records show Soros’s Open Society Foundations website awarded nearly $1.4 million to Alianza Americas between 2016 and 2020.
Yet lawmakers said official grants from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) totals $8.5 million over the past two years. CDC granted Alianza in February 2021 $7.5 million in funding, which will terminate in September 2025, “to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and mitigate impacts among Latinx and Latin American immigrants.” Since last July, the group had also received a total of $1 million from HRSA to “increase COVID-19 vaccine access” among local communities.
Van Duyne asserted that unchecked spending under President Joe Biden is “out of control.”
“I have continued to monitor actions taken by the Department,” Harrison wrote in his letter to HHS, saying he is “deeply concerned” that taxpayer dollars may have encouraged illegal immigration to the United States, both at home and in foreign jurisdictions, the Washington Examiner reported.
It also said that Alianza Americas held “two congressional briefings” on immigration-related issues in Washington and made over 200 “visits to Congress” between June 2017 and September 2019, citing the group’s 2019 tax documents.
“It appears that Alianza incorrectly stated on their IRS Form 990 that they do not engage in any lobbying when it appears that they do by getting their supporters to contact Congress to introduce or influence legislation regarding the status of illegal immigrants,” Paul Kamenar, counsel to the National Legal and Policy Center, told the outlet. “They are also required to file a separate form with the IRS detailing how much they spend on such lobbying activities.”
HHS and Alianza Americas did not immediately respond to a request for comment.