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COMMENTARY: Who’s funding illegal immigration? You are.

People often ask how illegal aliens can afford to pay for their journeys. Much of the funding comes from predictable sources: Relatives in the United States may send the money, the migrant may borrow it or even indenture himself to smuggling gangs and work off the debt once here.

But a lot of the money comes from the American taxpayer.

At every stage of a migrant’s journey, U.S. tax money smooths the way for people planning to enter and live in the United States illegally.

Start with the United Nations. The United States gave all the U.N. agencies $18 billion in 2022, representing about one-third of the total budget. The United Nations does many different things with that money, but one thing is to help wannabe border-jumpers actually make it to the border.

An investigation by the Center for Immigration Studies has revealed that U.N. agencies have budgeted $372 million for 2024 to help 624,000 migrants heading north to cross illegally into the United States. These migrants “in transit” will be supported with money, transportation, food, shelter, legal advice and more to ensure they’re able to get to the Rio Grande.

Once the migrants cross the border, they turn themselves in to the Border Patrol, which is obviously funded by our taxes. Law enforcement is an essential function of government, and few people begrudge the taxes we have to pay for that protection.

But now, the taxpayer-funded Border Patrol is no longer doing much law enforcement: It has been turned into a vast, green-uniformed Welcome Wagon. Since President Joe Biden took office, more than 3 million undocumented aliens have been “processed” by the Border Patrol and released into the United States.

Once you’ve paid to have the immigrants “processed” and released, they then have to make their way to the relatives or friends they’re going to join. While much of the money for the bus or plane tickets comes from the aliens’ families or a genuine charity, the taxpayers provide some of it whether you like it or not.

For one group of immigrants, all of the transportation costs are borne by the taxpayer. Unaccompanied minors (who frequently are neither minors nor really unaccompanied) have totaled nearly half a million on Biden’s watch, and they are delivered to their “sponsors” (often their undocumented alien parents who paid to have them smuggled in the first place) by the U.S. government.

This is so egregious that one federal judge has angrily noted that the Department of Homeland Security was “successfully completing the mission of the criminal (smuggling) conspiracy.” On your dime.

But you help pay for adult undocumented aliens to get to their destinations, too. The Federal Emergency Management Agency oversees Emergency Food and Shelter Program, which was started 40 years ago to give money to nonprofit groups to help homeless veterans and others.

The original purpose of this program has been swallowed up by a new mission — assisting undocumented border-crossers with transportation and basic needs. In 2023, $425 million in your money was budgeted for that task.

And then, when the aliens reach their destinations, you’re still paying. New York City expects to shell out up to $12 billion through next year to support them, and Chicago and other cities face similar challenges. And because states often help pay for municipal budgets, people in upstate New York and downstate Illinois will also pay.

If you don’t live in one of those places, you’re still not off the hook. The border bill being negotiated in the Senate, whatever its other strengths and weaknesses, includes a federal bailout for New York and other sanctuary cities struggling with the costs of our border policies.

Whether the money comes directly from the federal treasury or is directed through the United Nations or nonprofit groups, your tax money is helping underwrite the border crisis. There’s a long list of things that need to be done to regain control after three years of chaos, but high up on that list is to stop paying to make it worse.

Mark Krikorian is executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies in Washington. He wrote this for InsideSources.com.

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