$1.5B for ‘Youth Jobs Fund’? Critics Pan Pork in Senate Immigration Bill

Rand PaulFOX News – After a comprehensive immigration bill passed the Senate in June, President Obama says he’s “absolutely confident” it can pass the House if put to a vote.

But critics question how many lawmakers have actually read the 1,200-page bill, which they say is packed with hidden pork-barrel spending projects ranging from $1.5 billion for a “Youth Jobs Program” to millions for immigrant support groups that some say have a political agenda.

“Earmarks, special pork deals, and cash for groups allied with the Obama administration should be eliminated from any final bill,” Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., said in a statement to FoxNews.com.

The largest program FoxNews.com found with tenuous ties to immigration is on page 1,181 of the Senate bill, which allocates $1.5 billion for a “Youth Jobs Fund” to give states money to “provide … employment opportunities” for teens and young adults.

The section was introduced by Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., who first proposed the idea in a stand-alone bill in June. He said then that, “we have got to do everything we can to make sure that young Americans have the jobs they need to pay for a college education and to move up the economic ladder.”

His office did not respond to a request for comment about why the program is relevant to immigration.

Page 219 of the Senate version of the bill also allocates $50 million plus “such sums as may be necessary” to non-profit “immigrant-serving organizations… [Read More]