Read the fine print on the Small Business Administration’s website, and you’ll find that the agency does not provide the funds to “start or grow” a small business – the engine of the American economy, providing roughly three-quarters of all new jobs. Rather, the SBA provides offers loan guarantees to the banks and lenders that do provide seed money.
So it might come as a surprise to American entrepreneurs that there is at least one group to whom the federal government is providing direct assistance for business start-ups: illegal aliens. In fact, these recipients of your taxpayer funds fall into an even more restricted category: illegal aliens who have been deported back to their native land.
As part of an ongoing project he calls The Waste Report, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., has called attention to these outlays, which are made by an obscure federal agency called the Inter-American Foundation (IAF).
Housed in a non-descript building a few blocks from the White House, IAF is spending up to $50,000 annually to help Salvadorans sent back to El Salvador to “reintegrate” into their communities, under the idea that doing so will make them less likely to seek to return to the United States.
IAF works through a local NGO called INSAMI, which stands for Instituto Salvadoreño del Migrante and which estimates that 500 Salvadorans are deported from the U.S. to El Salvador each week. The group says the IAF funds assist sixty Salvadorans a year, “including deportees,” by helping to “facilitate their reintegration into their communities and support their enterprises.” This is accomplished by “offering financial education, technical advice and assistance with business plans,” all of which serves, in turn, to “assure that broader support and resources are available to the migrants, that their abilities are appreciated, their concerns understood and their needs met.”
IAF did not respond to Fox News’ requests for comment.
“Once we deport them, we set them up in business? It makes no sense to me,” Sen. Paul said in an interview with Fox News.
Shawn Moran, vice president of the National Border Patrol Council (NBPC), the union that represents America’s 21,000 Border Patrol officers, expressed dismay at learning of the federal outlays to deported illegal aliens.
Moran indicated that limited funding has made it exceedingly rare for Border Patrol officers ever to have a partner while they are working along the southern border, often at night – a state of affairs that leaves the officers more vulnerable to assaults by heavily armed alien- and drug-smugglers. He also alluded to equipment shortages that compromise the officers’ effectiveness.
“Agents do not have the tried and true tools that they need to conduct law enforcement operations,” Moran told Fox News. And I think $50,000 could go a long way in one Border Patrol sector to help correct that.” He cited the communications devices the officers rely on. “Agents are using radios that oftentimes, they can see a Border Patrol station from the hills along the border, yet they can't talk to it.”
So what else might $50,000 of taxpayer funds purchase to secure the border against illegal aliens from El Salvador and elsewhere?
A review of help-wanted ads posted online by the federal Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency finds that as recently as April 7, CBP was conducting a search for Border Patrol agents in multiple locations, with the top annual starting salary placed at: $50,600.
For that same amount, the federal government could purchase seven Yamaha Grizzly 450 automatic utility all-terrain vehicles like these, of which the federal government purchased fifteen, from a Decatur, Illinois-based motor sports store, in September 2013.
Fox News’ Kara Rowland and William Mears contributed to this report.