Center for Human Rights and Constitutional Law collaborating with Mexican government
The Center for Human Rights and Constitutional Law (CHRCL) is a "non-profit, public interest legal foundation" located at centerforhumanrights.org. At that site they say:
The Center is generously supported by the California Legal Services Trust Fund, the Liberty Hill Foundation, and its many members. Students, lawyers, and other volunteers are encouraged to join the Center's efforts to protect and promote domestic and international civil and human rights.
They also have a site called the "Mexico Project" at vocesunidas.org. That last includes the following:
A collaborative project of the Direccion General de Proteccion y Asuntos Consulares of the Secretaria de Relaciones Exteriores of the Government of Mexico and the Center for Human Rights and Constitutional Law.
There's much more about this Project in Treason For Fun And Profit: Peter Schey And His "Mexico Project". That describes the use of the "U-Visa", which sounds like a catch-all amnesty scheme.
However, what's most shocking to me about this is that the California Legal Services Trust Fund ("CLSTF") is part of the California State Bar, which is "a public corporation within the judicial branch of government, serving as an arm of the California Supreme Court." The money from the CLSTF is the interest on California attorney's trust accounts. Neither they nor their clients get that interest, instead it's sent to the CLSTF.
So, a question: is either California state government money - or money directed by that state's government - being used to fund a collaboration with a foreign government?
If so, is that against the CLSTF rules? And, just as importantly, will the State Bar or any elected representatives endeavor to find out?
The PDF file "Eligibility Guidelines for Legal Services Projects" says:
All applicants must include with their applications an assurance that the applicant will use the funds allocated from the Trust Fund Program for the purposes set forth in §§6210-6228 of the Business and Professions Code.
A peek at that section didn't show anything about fund disbursement being limited to use for citizens.
The PDF also contains this:
2.2 The organization must operate exclusively in California. An applicant that is part of a corporation that conducts other activities outside California can meet this requirement if all funds granted will be expended in California.
Would that apply here?
I've contact the State Bar for more information, and I'll provide an update if and when they reply.
For more information on this overall scheme, see "The IOLTA Program: The Invisible Hand":
Over the next two or three years more than $1 billion will funnel into a subterranean network for the support of liberal and progressive causes-without the consent or knowledge of the donors. The Interest on Lawyers' Trust Accounts program, commonly known as IOLTA, began in Florida in 1978. The program requires or permits attorneys to pool temporarily certain client trust accounts, specifically those of a "nominal" or "short-term" nature. The income earned from those pools is then diverted, ostensibly to provide legal services for the poor... The income, however, has become a substantial subsidy for the political causes of the liberal left. In Massachusetts IOLTA funds have supported efforts to force redistricting to increase minority representation. Social Justice for Women, a lobbying group, receives funds, as does the AIDS Law Project of Gay and Lesbian Defenders, which opposes the testing of medical care providers for AIDS. The Massachusetts Advocacy Center, supported by the Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation, helped draft a proposal to eliminate entrance exams at the Boston Latin School, the oldest public school in the country and one renowned for its excellence...
UPDATE 1/20/06: The State Bar says grant money isn't being used for the Mexico-CHRCL collaboration.
UPDATE 3/26/07: See the New Times L.A. Jun 20, 2002 article "Border Buster" excerpted here.
UPDATE 4/01/07: See also Treason For Fun And Profit: Peter Schey And His "Mexico Project"