NGOs Making Bank on Border Crisis

Would you like to make more than half a million dollars a year without having any discernable skills?

Well, the easiest way is to become a music therapist for migrant children. Christy Merrell was paid $533,000 in 2021 to soothe the savage breasts of migrant children in 2021 by the government-funded nonprofit “Endeavors.


Personally, I would prefer to go that route rather than make more than a million dollars a year as the CEO of Southwest Key Programs, another NGO that the Biden Administration is shoveling ungodly amounts of money toward. Being a CEO requires work and subjects you to some legal liability. 

I can live off half a million dollars without risk or much work. 

Maddie Rowley of The Free Press writes about the work done by America First Legal, looking into the vast sums of money that NGOs are raking in from government contracts related to the Biden Border Crisis. 

It makes you want to cry. Even some Democrats are appalled by the amount of graft.

“The amount of taxpayer money they are getting is obscene,” Charles Marino, former adviser to Janet Napolitano, the secretary of the Department of Homeland Security under Obama, said of the NGOs. “We’re going to find that the waste, fraud, and abuse of taxpayer money will rival what we saw with the Covid federal money.”

I can believe that. Here in Minnesota, a Somali gang walked off with hundreds of millions of dollars of stolen COVID aid money that was supposed to feed school children who were part of the school lunch program. Since the kids weren’t going to school, the money was given to nonprofits to feed them. 


They never did. And that’s just one state. 

We see the same thing happening with the border crisis.

The Free Press examined three of the most prominent NGOs that have benefited: Global Refuge, Southwest Key Programs, and Endeavors, Inc. These organizations have seen their combined revenue grow from $597 million in 2019 to an astonishing $2 billion by 2022, the last year for which federal disclosure documents are available. And the CEOs of all three nonprofits reap more than $500,000 each in annual compensation, with one of them—the chief executive of Southwest Key—making more than $1 million.

Some of the services NGOs provide are eyebrow-raising. For example, Endeavors uses taxpayer funds to offer migrant children “pet therapy,” “horticulture therapy,” and music therapy. In 2021 alone, Endeavors paid Christy Merrell, a music therapist, $533,000. An internal Endeavors PowerPoint obtained by America First Legal, an outfit founded by former Trump aide Stephen Miller, showed that the nonprofit conducted 1,656 “people-plant interactions” and 287 pet therapy sessions between April 2021 and March 2023. 

People-plant interactions. You have to admire the ingenuity. 

The border crisis is big business. Billions of dollars are spent helping migrants make their way to the United States, often using US government money to facilitate the trip, and billions more are shipped to nonprofits here in the United States to settle the refugees and provide ridiculous services. 


If you are in the business, business is good. Of course you want more migrants, and of course, you want them to vote to keep the gravy train going. That’s why so many of these migrants are being handed voter registration applications as they get their papers. 

Not, I am assured, that any of these people who entered the country illegally would think of breaking the law by voting. How dare we suggest that?! Racist!

The Administration for Children and Families, a division of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, funds the nonprofits through its Office of Refugee Resettlement, and its budget has swelled over the years—from $1.8 billion in 2018 to $6.3 billion in 2023. The ORR is expected to spend at least $7.3 billion this year—almost all of which will be funneled to NGOs and other contractors.

When asked about the funding increase during a January media event, Krish O’Mara Vignarajah, the chief executive of Global Refuge said, “We’ve grown because the need has grown.” The nonprofit did not make Vignarajah available for an interview.

There’s gold in them, there hills, a gold rush miner would say. Only working a stake in California in the 19th century gold rush was hard and dangerous work. Music therapy is a nicer gig, although I would rather do the people-plant interaction job. Pet therapy would be the best. 

I like dogs and cats. Who wouldn’t want to be paid to work with puppies and kids? How do I get in on this?

Be a Democrat, I suppose, and that is a bridge too far for me. I have some standards, damn it. 


Vignarajah, a former policy director for Michelle Obama when she was first lady, took the top job at Global Refuge in February 2019 after she lost her bid to be elected governor of Maryland. She has since become one of the most prominent advocates for migrants crossing the southern border, appearing frequently on MSNBC and other media as an immigration advocate. Her incoming salary was $244,000, but just three years later, her compensation more than doubled to $520,000. 

In 2019, Global Refuge housed 2,591 unaccompanied children while spending $30 million. Three years later, the NGO reported that it housed 1,443 unaccompanied children at a cost of $82.5 million—almost half the number of migrants for more than double the money.

In a statement to The Free Press, Global Refuge spokesperson Timothy Young said that while in care, “Unaccompanied children attend six hours of daily education and participate in recreational activities, both at the education site and within the community.” 

The man with the $1 million salary is Dr. Anselmo Villarreal, who became CEO of Southwest Key Programs, headquartered in Austin, Texas, in 2021. (Villarreal took a drop in pay compared to his predecessor, Southwest Key founder Juan Sanchez, who paid himself an eye-popping $3.5 million in 2018.) 

Despite a number of scandals in the recent past, including misuse of federal funds and several instances of employees sexually abusing some of the children in its care, Southwest Key continues to operate—and rake in big government checks. In 2020, the year of Covid-19, its government grant was $391 million; by 2022, its contract was nearly $790 million.


Why are there always pedophiles lurking in the background?

I highly recommend reading the whole piece, as it is eye-opening. Not that any of you will be that shocked anymore, I suppose. Grifts and grafts are the not-so-new hotness when it comes to government-funded programs. It is simply the scale of the graft that impresses. 

Since the pandemic hit, the government has been little more than a cash dispensing machine for the most vile people. Rather than graft being a happy accompaniment of massive government spending, it has become the entire point of it. 

Declining empires always see this pattern. Once the wealth of the society hits a certain point, the people at the top quit skimming the cream and start devouring the cow. 

It doesn’t end well. Without the cow, there is no more milk. 



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