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Biden admin releases photos, videos of migrant detention facilities

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The Biden administration released official images and videos Tuesday from inside two crowded Texas detention centers at the southern border, ABC News has reported.

The Biden administration has yet to call the recent surge in unaccompanied minors at the border a “crisis.”

The images were shot last week by U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials and expose living conditions inside of a processing facility in El Paso, Texas and a holding facility in Donna, Texas. The Biden administration has refused to allow the media inside of the facilities.

The 3-minute video shows where unaccompanied children and migrants are being held before they are transferred to other federal agencies. Up to 4,000 people, many of them children, sleep on floors with aluminum blankets inside the tented facility on the southern border. Only 250 people are meant to be held in the facilities.

ABC News Chief White House Corespondent Cecilia Vega described the facilities as “severely overcrowded, jail-like places, not meant for kids.”

A photo taken inside of the facility in Donna shows young children inside of a playpen, being watched over by a caretaker.

Another video shows children packed into enclosures and sleeping on mats on floors.

The White House has said they are working as quickly as possible to move the children into shelters and homes. And they have expressed concern over the spread of COVID-19.

Vega said most of the children are being held in the facilities much longer than the three days they’re legally allowed to be held. From the facilities, the children will most likely go into a foster system or another shelter, but it could take more than a month to reunite the children with their families.

5,000 unaccompanied children are in Border Patrol custody, and an additional 10,500 are in the care of Health and Human Services, according to an HHS official and a document obtained by ABC News.

Follow Annaliese Levy on Twitter @AnnalieseLevy

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Immigration

IG Audit shows nonprofit wasted $17 million taxpayer dollars on hotels to not house illegal foreign nationals

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An audit report by the Inspector General shows enraging information as to exactly how millions of dollars from the American people were completely wasted.

One doesn’t need to read past the IG report’s headline to become furious: “ICE Spent Funds on Unused Beds, Missed COVID-19 Protocols and Detention Standards while Housing Migrant Families in Hotels.”

In summary, an unbelievable $17 million was wasted on not housing illegal foreign nationals. At the heart of the story is Endeavors, a nonprofit which has received half a billion dollars in taxpayer money “through no-bid government contracts to house foreign nationals who illegally entered the U.S. and were released by the Biden administration instead of being deported” reports The Center Square.

The audit evaluated the process used by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to grant no bid contracts to Endeavors and their compliance with federal law, the article explains.

The report evaluated an $86.9 million sole source contract first awarded to Endeavors earlier this year. The contract was awarded for six months to provide “temporary shelter and processing services for families who have not been expelled and are therefore placed in immigration proceedings for their removal from the United States,” The Center Square previously reported.

Months after it received its first no bid contract, Endeavors received a second $530 million contract and hired former Biden administration official Andrew Lorenzen-Straight as its senior director for migrant services and federal affairs, Axios reported.

The Center Square explains:

Sole source contracts are used when an agency can demonstrate the contract meets specific and justified criteria. If contracts don’t meet one of the criteria, they must be awarded through an open competitive process.

Endeavors has no professional history of providing housing services and has never provided beds or all-inclusive emergency family residential services, OIG auditors found. Those critical of DHS’ contract process argue the agency should be awarding contracts through an open competitive process to ensure that those bidding for funds can offer the services they claim they can provide.

Under the contract in question, for six months between March and September 2021, Endeavors was responsible for providing 1,239 beds and other necessary services in hotels. It used six hotels and repurposed them as Emergency Family Reception Sites to accommodate families staying less than three days while ICE considered conditions of release, including alternatives to detention.

The IOG made four recommendations for ICE to improve its contracting and oversight of hotel facility management and operations. “ICE concurred with one recommendation and didn’t concur with three. Based on information ICE provided in its response, the IOG said it considered one recommendation resolved and closed, and three recommendations administratively closed.”

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