Columbus, Ohio, inaugurated a defense fund in taxpayer money for illegal immigrants facing deportation. Among the groups benefiting from the Columbus Families Together program is the local chapter of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR). Founded in 1994 by three Muslims from the Middle East who propagandized for the terrorist organization that eventually became known as Hamas, CAIR became in 2008 a co-conspirator in a federal terror-finance case involving the Hamas front group known as the Holy Land Foundation.

FBI officials have described CAIR as an entity that promotes and finances terrorism, with ties to known terrorists including a board member who was a co-conspirator in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, and a fundraiser identified by the U.S. Treasury Department for financing Al Qaeda.

The effort to create the fund began once Donald Trump was elected. Columbus City Councilwoman Elizabeth Brown vowed to help illegal immigrants fight deportation. On January 30, she posted on her social media account: “In Columbus, we stand with immigrants! This morning I announced Council’s commitment to a legal defense fund to support our refugees and immigrants as they face an onslaught of new hurdles to keep their families together. I’m excited to get to work. Who wants to help?”

In a vote last week, the Columbus City Council established the new legal defense fund with a $185,000 infusion of taxpayers’ cash to provide legal services to the area’s illegal aliens and their families. News reports show that the nonprofit Advocates for Basic Legal Equality Inc. will receive the lion’s share of the funds. CAIR will receive $17,500 to provide “legal services that help keep families together in the central Ohio immigrant and refugee communities.” This includes “know your rights” education sessions in Columbus that will cover encounters with federal immigration agents. Brown, a Democrat, said “we’re sending a signal here tonight. We value our immigrants. We welcome you. We know that the demonization of immigrants throws them into the shadows and makes a class of silent victims. We won’t allow it.”

According to a document describing the Columbus Families Together Fund, “The wellbeing of our immigrant communities is intertwined with the city’s overall wellbeing.” It adds, “Ultimately, Columbus is a safer, more just, and more economically vibrant city for everyone when we address the needs of all our residents.” It goes on to admit that intact families contribute to long-term self-sufficiency and child success, the city will also pay for additional services that help keep immigrant and refugee families together.

Columbus is not alone in allocating public funds to help illegal aliens. For example, a few days after the Chicago City Council approved a $1.3 million legal defense fund to assist illegal aliens facing deportation, Los Angeles officials allocated $10 million for the same purpose. 



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Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat and the editor of Spero News.

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