The philanthropic Open Society Foundations run by George Soros sought in 2010 to foster an alliance between civil liberty advocates and proponents of illegal immigration in order to block comprehensive immigration reform, and language that would have required closer tracking of immigrants, hacked documents reveal.
The move was made after an off-the-record meeting in November 2009 between representatives of Soros' organization and groups that included the American Civil Liberties Union, the Human Rights Campaign, the National Immigration Law Center, and the libertarian Cato Institute.
According to a memorandum addressed to Soros and leaked online, the organizations represented a partnership between those who support large immigration flows, and civil rights advocates who were interested in preventing the passage of comprehensive immigration reform legislation that would legalize at least 11 million undocumented workers, but would also require them and up to 140 million American citizens to participate in a biometric database for tracking fingerprints.
"Our goal was to ensure that the privacy rights community and the immigrant rights community, two groups that receive significant support from [Soros] but rarely interface with one another, share information and strategies to avoid the loss of privacy and risk to information security," the memo stated.
Participants at the meeting were "sternly warned of the dangers" that a biometric database would pose, the memo said, by Chris Calabrese of the ACLU, Tyler Moran of the National Immigration Law Center, and Jim Harper of the Cato Institute.
The effort to pass so-called comprehensive immigration reform, spearheaded that year by New York Sen. Chuck Schumer and New Jersey Sen. Bob Menendez, both staunch Democrats, ultimately fell flat. The movement reached a peak in 2013, when the two notoriously joined with Republicans like Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and Sen. John McCain and Sen. Jeff Flake, both of Arizona, to form a bipartisan "Gang of Eight." The legislation ultimately died after being blocked by Republicans in the House.
The memo revealing OSF's strategic position was authored by Nancy Chang, a national security and human rights manager for OSF, and Maria Teresa Rojas, a director for international migration.
The leaked memo was included in a trove of 2,500 files stolen from OSF by purported hackers and published online Aug. 14. Though the documents suggest OSF and its allies may have been less successful than they would have liked in gaining legal status for millions of undocumented workers, they also indicate Soros was more successful in other pursuits, including an effort to convince the administration to increase the number of refugees annually inducted into the country to 100,000.