Cash debit cards are being handed out not only to illegal immigrants but to “repeat border crossers.” Todd Bensman reports on one of his trips to Reynosa, Mexico’s migrant camp where he took photo documentation of a United Nations-supported International Organization for Migration (IOM) handing out the money.
One of two workers at a plastic folding table inside the Reynosa camp, which was filled to capacity with at least 1,200 mostly U.S.-expelled Central Americans, said they were distributing the cards for IOM to help migrants waiting until they cross the Rio Grande at greater leisure to claim asylum, for which most will be declared ineligible years later. Many parents, for instance, got about $400 every 15 days, I was told, or $800 a month if they were still there to collect it, although the support level varied.
When Bensman tweeted the photos he took, Republican lawmakers were outraged, as they saw the images as evidence that the U.S. taxpayer-funded 10M was providing material support to an ongoing mass migration harmful to America’s national interest.”
Bensman admits “when I took the photos, I wasn’t exactly sure of exactly what I was seeing in Reynosa.” But, he continues, “here’s what I have learned since: The money card is confirmed beyond doubt, but also ‘hard cash in envelopes’ and ‘movement assistance’; and an online IOM ‘Emergency Manual’ describes what I saw as part of a program it terms ‘Cash-Based Interventions,’ or CBIs.”
Therefore, Bensman investigative report continues:
A couple of weeks later, Texas Rep. Lance Gooden, R-Texas, and 11 other House Republican co-sponsors introduced the “No Tax Dollars for the United Nations Immigration Invasion Act” bill. It would prohibit the $3.8 billion in contributions currently proposed in the White House 2022 budget to the IOM and other UN-supported organizations. A Daily Caller story that broke news of the bill’s introduction quoted Gooden citing my Reynosa photos…
…So, for starters, country-specific IOM “Cash Working Groups” are indeed coordinating the handouts of the cash-holding plastic cards I saw (referred to as prepaid debit cards, e-wallets and e-cards) to intending U.S. border crossers in Reynosa, Mexico. But it turns out that is just an iceberg tip. The IOM is handing out cash and other material support to intending illegal border crossers in as many as 100 other shelters it helped build, expand, or supports from Central America north.
Some form of this has been around for years, but starting with a mass-migration event and Trump’s “Remain in Mexico” policy in 2019, the IOM supercharged the program and “institutionalized” it. This doubled the countries where it is used in 2020 and increased by 77 percent the number of recipients to 1.6 million worldwide, according to an annual 2020 IOM report. That would include Mexico.
The IOM Emergency Manual document says this cash assistance also includes less-seeable bank transfers, mobile transfers, and e-vouchers that go to intending illegal border crossers en route or at least temporarily blocked like many of those I saw and interviewed in Reynosa. In addition to those and the pre-paid plastic cards, the IOM says in its Emergency Manual that it also sometimes hands out “cash in envelopes (hard cash).” No details are offered on that.
Many payments are given as “unconditional; unrestricted cash transfers” for “multi-purpose use,” the manual says. Still other handouts subsidize the lodging, rent, and utilities of intending border crossers for “safe tenure, to reduce the risk of forced eviction.”
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Local TX developer accused of selling land to illegal immigrants creating entire town with ‘four cartels operating there’
Roughly 20 miles northeast of Downtown Houston, Texas, is an entire town where cartels are operating from due to a local developer selling land to border crossers without any paperwork. William ‘Trey’ Harris has been accused of “creating a sprawling illegal migrant town” by “allowing buyers to purchase land without the need to prove income or credit” reports The Daily Mail.
As a result of selling the plots at Colony Ridge without any documentation, an estimated 75,000 people, primarily illegal immigrants, have been able to buy homes and create a town which The Daily Mail reports has at least four separate cartels operating from. The settlement area is approximately 60 square miles in size, and has been developed by Harris through his company Terrano Houston, which uses Spanish language marketing.
Senior National Security Fellow Todd Bensman claimed Harris has been selling off plots direct to a borrowers for a few hundred dollars without conducting any background checks.
Part 1. Welcome to the largest illegal immigrant no-go sanctuary city in America. Colony Ridge in Liberty County Texas from an airplane today. Vast expansion clearing underway not pictured, w/ @Michael_Yon pic.twitter.com/Tk1UseHr7e
— Todd Bensman (@BensmanTodd) June 14, 2023
A statement on behalf of the company said: ‘The safety of our communities is our foremost goal, and all of our subdivision plots, roads and other infrastructure are built to code and approved by County engineering teams…Our developments have put the American Dream of home ownership within reach for tens of thousands of middle- and working-class Texas families.”
The statement continues: “In addition to these homes, we are also proud of our efforts to improve local infrastructure and bring businesses to the area, as well as our work with local public and charter schools to improve education for our residents’ children and our work with local law enforcement to enhance public safety.”
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