If you were shocked by the images of the Mexican flag flying over an Aurora, Colorado, immigration detention center this weekend, you'll be appalled at an even more disgusting spectacle:
One of the top promoters of the so-called Lights for Liberty nationwide protests by Trump-hating, ICE-bashing radicals was a nonprofit religious organization known as the Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service. As a designated "host," LIRS played a key role in publicizing, organizing and participating in demonstrations against President Donald Trump's deportation enforcement actions targeting some 2,000 illegal immigrants and their families who have ignored removal orders or skipped out on court hearings.
Brazen hatred of cops, Border Patrol and ICE agents were on full display at the open borders protests fronted by LIRS and other left-wing groups, including Code Pink, CASA and CAIR. Marchers echoed the "Close the Concentration Camps" rhetoric of congressional brat pack Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y. They carried signs declaring "ICE=Gestapo" and "Free the People, Burn the Camps." It's not just idle rhetoric. Antifa thug Willem Van Spronsen, armed with a rifle and incendiary devices, attempted to set a Tacoma ICE facility on fire on Saturday before being shot dead. He has been hailed as a "hero" and a "martyr" by fellow "progressive" travelers, while sympathetic mainstream reporters and activists look the other way.
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The president and CEO of LIRS, Krishanti Vignarajah, is a Sri Lankan refugee and former Michelle Obama policy director who led the Lights for Liberty event in Washington, D.C. She argues that Americans are obligated to open the floodgates at the southern border (since she turned out so great) and vehemently opposes what she calls "militant border enforcement." To these border-sabotaging radicals, of course, any border enforcement is "militant."
LIRS sounds like just the kind of extremist group you'd expect to be kept afloat by billionaire George Soros' big bucks. But hold on to your wallets and your American flags, folks: In 2016, LIRS relied on $64.7 million in government subsidies from taxpayers – that's you and me – to fund a whopping 96.2 percent of its budget.
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LIRS is one of nine agencies that receives tens of millions of dollars to resettle refugees from around the world. The organization brags that it is "a vital arm of the United States refugee admissions program" that has worked with the State Department to import "over 500,000 refugees" to our country. One of LIRS' most famous clients? Somalian-born Minnesota Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar, whose immigration, marriage and tax fraud problems I reported on in my column last month.
If only a fraction of LIRS clients share Omar's contempt for our security and self-governance, you can see the trouble we're in. And that's just the caseload of one of the nine resettlement giants that together rake in an estimated $1 billion a year.
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In addition, the Lutheran nonprofit is one of two specially designated groups (the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops is the other) that is contracted by the government to provide social services and benefits (including "psycho-educational support" and "low-cost or pro bono immigration legal assistance") to sponsor families hosting illegal immigrant children.
Disguised as compassion and Christian morality, Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service's activism is a profit-seeking machine – even as the agency has been plagued by allegations of mismanagement that prompted an external probe two years ago. Last week, the group unveiled yet another initiative: "United Sanctuaries of America." You should know, especially if you are a citizen of faith who believes in the sovereignty of our country, that the following organizations are partnering with LIRS, possibly to erase our borders:
- New Sanctuary Coalition
- Hispanic Heritage Foundation
- League of United Latin American Citizens
- Washington Office on Latin America
- Mary's Center and Hispanic Federation
- Gethsemane Lutheran Church
- Good Shepherd Lutheran
- Church of the Reformation
- Christ Lutheran
- Christ the Servant Lutheran
- Our Savior Lutheran
Bottom line: Open borders equals cash flow: more aliens, more grants, bigger paychecks.
Exit question: Will a single American elected official please stand up and challenge the continued public funding of this subversive religious racket bent on hoisting foreign flags and alien interests above our own?