Public docs show cash handouts to help feed, transport, and house people headed for the U.S. border.
Early on in America’s historic border crisis, now entering its fourth record-smashing year, some Republican lawmakers named a significant enabling culprit other than the usual Mexican cartel smugglers. They named the U.S. taxpayer-funded United Nations as essentially a co-smuggler after seeing my reports that the UN was handing out debit cards and cash vouchers to aspiring illegal border crossers on their way north.
One outraged group of 21 border-security-minded lawmakers even pitched a bill that would require the United States, the UN’s largest donor, to turn off the taxpayer money spigot. H.R. 6155 never caught fire, though, in no small part because “fact checks” claiming to debunk other reports like mine in the conservative press dissuaded broader media interest and left the American public in the dark.
But now the UN’s 2024 update to the “Regional Refugee and Migrant Response Plan” (RMRP for short), a planning and budget document for handing out nearly $1.6 billion in 17 Latin America countries, can cast a broad confirming light on the cash giveaways and much more aid for 2024 ahead — with the helping hands of 248 named non-governmental organizations. Despite the RMRP plan title naming Venezuelans as recipients of this aid operation, the document’s fine print (footnote on p. 14 and paragraph on p. 43, for instance) says the largesse goes to “all nationalities” and “multiple other nationalities”.
The documents clear up any mystery about what the UN and NGOs are doing on the migrant trails and leave no room for supposedly debunking “fact checks”.
In a nutshell, the UN and its advocacy partners are planning to spread $372 million in “Cash and Voucher Assistance (CVA)”, and “Multipurpose Cash Assistance (MCA)” to some 624,000 immigrants in-transit to the United States during 2024. That money is most often handed out, other UN documents show, as pre-paid, rechargeable debit cards, but also hard “cash in envelopes”, bank transfers, and mobile transfers the U.S. border-bound travelers can use for whatever they want.
The $372 million in planned cash giveaways to the 624,000 immigrants moving north and illegally crossing national borders “represents a significantly greater share of the financial requirements” for 2024, the RMRP says, but it is still only one part of much broader UN hemisphere-wide vision that aims to spend $1.59 billion assisting about three million people in 17 countries who emigrated from their home nations. Most will be “in-destination” recipients already supposedly settled in third countries, albeit in declining numbers, but a rising share of cash will go to the spiking numbers of “in-transit” immigrants launching journeys from those accommodating countries north to the United States.
Without distinction, both populations get access to UN cash but also “humanitarian transportation”, shelter, food, legal advice, personal hygiene products, health care, and “protection” against threats like human smuggling, and much more besides cash in envelopes or debit cards.
The cash handouts will be in the mix during 2024 as the UN and its private partners incorporate an “increased use of CVA” in, for instance, the $184 million it plans to provide 1.2 million people, $122 million for rent support and also “temporary collective shelter” for 473,000 people, and $25.8 million for “humanitarian transportation” to 129,000 people crossing borders. There’ll also be “expanded use of multi-purpose cash” for those claiming “gender-based violence”.