National Council of La Raza Cronies Bag Big Bucks Warehousing Kids at the Border


Back in 2011, White House Director of Intergovernmental Affairs Cecilia Muñoz, formerly vice president of the National Council of La Raza (NCLR), told PBS “even if the immigration law is executed with perfection, there will be parents separated from their children.” So the separation policy was intentional, and it turned out to be very profitable for the politically connected. 

As Fox News reports “Texas-based Southwest Key Programs has taken in roughly $1 billion in federal contracts since the Obama administration and is expected to receive about $500 million this year to house and provide services for immigrant children.” Southwest Key holds a total of “more than 5,000 immigrant children, about 10 percent of whom are said to have been separated from their families since May when the new policy was announced. Its shelters for immigrants minors are in Texas, Arizona, and California.”

Southwest Key CEO Juan Sanchez and board member Anselmo Villareal both served with the National Council of La Raza, now rebadged as UnidosUS. According to CNN, Juan Sanchez bags $1.47 million a year, “which makes him one of the highest paid charity CEOs in the country.”

KXAN of Austin reports that Southwest Key has received $995 million in federal funds since 2015. Over a three-year period, Southwest Key had “more than 200 violations at its facilities,” including a resident failing to receive proper care for an STD. Sanchez says the issues were corrected and tells anybody who will listen “We’re the good guys.” 

As Fox reports, Southwest Key Programs operates “the largest licensed shelter for immigrant children in the United States. A 250,000-square-foot facility at a former WalMart superstore in Brownsville, Texas, today houses some 1,500 boys between the ages of 10 and 17 who illegally entered the U.S.” As illegal entry continues, a few realities are clear. 

The separation policy pre-dates the Trump administration and the kids have become cash cows. A politically connected non-profit can bag $1 billion and the boss can pull down $1.5 million a year. But remember, taxpayers, it’s all for the children. Remember too that when Illinois governor Rod Blagoyevich broke the law and went to prison, his children Amy and Anne didn’t go to prison with him. 

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K. Lloyd Billingsley is a Policy Fellow at the Independent Institute and a columnist at The Daily Caller. 

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