Catholic Charity Pays for Tickets on Migrant Planes with Taxpayer Money

( – Catholic Charities is a national organization that assists families. The charity also has a division that provides immigration assistance to migrants to keep families together. Texas lawmakers are furious with the organization and demanding answers over how it spends taxpayer money.

Catholic Charities of San Antonio is under fire by Rep. Monica De La Cruz (R-TX) and Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-TX) for purchasing plane tickets for asylum seekers. The lawmakers are accusing the organization of using taxpayer money tied to the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Emergency Food and Shelter Program.

The lawmakers told reporters that organizations are supposed to use the FEMA funds to provide shelter, food, and humanitarian needs for people. They believe that Catholic Charities should not have used the funds to pay for travel expenses. De La Cruz and Cuellar are also accusing the charity of attracting more migrants to San Antonio because they know they can get a plane ticket to other parts of the country while waiting for authorities to process their cases.

Cuellar claimed that he’d spoken to Holding Institute in Laredo, which provides shelters and other services to migrants, and the organization mentioned the free plane tickets. The Democrat argued that the families of the migrants should be paying for the airline tickets, not the American taxpayers.

Jose Antonio Fernandez, the CEO of the organization, told Catholic News Agency that his organization has done nothing wrong. They haven’t offered free flights since last year. He said Catholic Charities stayed within the rules of FEMA’s Emergency Food and Shelter program. He said the rules “clearly stated that [they] could provide transportation.” He went on to say that wasn’t just his “interpretation” of the rules either, “it is a fact.”

Fernandez said many companies provide people with transportation “because it is allowed.” He encouraged people to contact FEMA to ask about it and said they would be told, “yes, [they] are actually allowed to provide transportation.”

De la Cruz maintained it was “unacceptable” and accused the charity of misusing the fund to send illegals to their “preferred destination” with tax dollars that Americans worked hard to earn.

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