Tens of millions of U.S. taxpayer dollars soon could be flowing into the National Council of La Raza, an organization that advocates for civil rights for Hispanics and has connections to groups that advocate the separation of several southwestern states from the rest of the nation.

The proposal has been made by U.S. Rep. Ruben Hinojosa, and it would give the organization that describes itself as “the largest national Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization in the United States – [working] to improve opportunities for Hispanic Americans” $5 million annually starting in 2008, with the funding to double the next year and then continue at that level “for each fiscal year thereafter.”

As WND reported earlier, La Raza was condemned last year by Rep. Charles Norwood, R-Ga., as a radical “pro-illegal immigration lobbying organization that supports racist groups calling for the secession of the western United States as a Hispanic-only homeland.”

Norwood has called on La Raza to renounce its support of the Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlan – which sees “The Race” as part of an ethnic group that one day will reclaim Aztlan, the mythical birthplace of the Aztecs. In Chicano folklore, Aztlan includes California, Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico and parts of Colorado and Texas.

The new plan, H.R. 1999, was introduced in April and already has been referred to a committee for action.

The attempt to divert federal funding is being publicized by several groups, including Americans for Legal Immigration Political Action Committee as well as The Federal Observer.

“Contact your HOUSE MEMBER to vote against this American largess for organizations working for the benefit of foreign nations,” the websites said.

The legislation specifically authorizes money “for assistance for the National Council of La Raza and the Raza Development Fund.”

“This Act may be cited as the ‘Hope Fund Act of 2007,'” the legislation said. It calls for the money to be used for “community development” as well as “affordable housing” for neighborhoods “of Hispanic origin.”

The organization’s latest available financial report confirms that it already gets $5 million a year in federal grants, and nearly another $14 million a year in other grants, making up a majority of its $30 million annual budget. The future $10 million annual grants would provide a substantial boost to its budget.

The legislation allows the money to be spent by the National Council of La Raza or its development fund and leaves the door open for funding “such other activities as may be determined by the Secretary and the National Council of La Raza.”

“Line[s] the pockets of Hispanic real estate companies and agents and … line[s] their own pockets and cronies,” one forum participant said on the ALIPAC site. “The thought of paying taxes to fund this pandering racist organization should enrage everyone!”

ALIPAC spokesman William Gheen told WND that it’s happening across the board these days.

“It is unethical for any group engaged in politics to be receiving taxpayer funds,” he said. “La Raza lobbies on issues and then lobbies to receive more money.”

He said the organization legally is allowed to lobby as long as only a small part of its budget goes to that goal. “It would be interesting to have a job where part of your job is to spend tax dollars and then go lobby for more.”

He said the Internal Revenue Service simply has not been following such activities closely enough.

“People can file a complaint with the IRS, but it’s another matter whether they do anything,” he said.

The open-ended allocation referencing future fiscal years could mean that not only tens of millions – but hundreds of millions – of taxpayer dollars would be allocated for the organization, he said.

Also, since La Raza has hundreds of affiliate groups around the nation, the bottom line could escalate dramatically.

He said Americans probably wouldn’t want their tax dollars to such race-based groups.

One of the founders of the La Raza concept was Jose Angel Gutierrez, a professor whose current projects include, “A Chicano Manual on How to Handle Gringos,” and “Chicano Leadership: Local Elected Officials in Texas, 1950-2000.”

He helped found the Mexican American Youth Organization and La Raza Unida Party, and has told reporters that, “Our devil has pale skin and blue eyes,” and, “We’re a new Mestizo nation.”

La Raza itself confirms on its website that it will continue to support on a case by case basis the Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlan, which it admits has “inappropriate rhetoric” that is “extremist and inflammatory.”

That organization has called for the restoration of Aztlan by separating much or all of half a dozen southwestern states from the United States. To that concept, Gutierrez responded that he shouldn’t need a passport, because he was just traveling across the land to which he is indigenous.

WND reported just a day earlier that a campaign also has been set up by a group including La Raza letting Spanish-speaking people lobby the U.S. Senate directly, even coaching them what English words to use.

And it deceives congressional offices, with a high-tech process that strips away the 800 number people actually call, and forwards to Washington the callers’ home numbers, leaving the impression the multitude of calls are not part of an organized effort, WND has learned.

The actual program is being run by the Coalition for Comprehensive Immigration Reform, which calls itself “a campaign … to achieve passage of workable comprehensive immigration reform legislation that serves our nation,” and includes the National Council of La Raza as a supporting member.

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