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Biggs asks Biden admin to ‘publicly declare that the situation at the southern border is a crisis’

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Congressman Andy Biggs, R-AZ, sent a letter to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas Wednesday, requesting that he publicly declare that the situation at the southern border is a crisis.

“Given your recent plea for volunteers from throughout the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to support Customs and Border Protection’s work at the border, I request that you publicly declare that the situation at the southern border is a crisis,” Biggs wrote to Mayorkas.

Biggs said the situation at the border is a “deteriorating humanitarian crisis” that needs to be labeled as a “crisis,” not a “challenge.”

Mayorkas on March 1 claimed there was no crisis at the southern border, but rather a “challenge” that the DHS was working to manage.

Biggs went on to request that Mayorkas immediately reinstate enrollments in the Migrant Protection Protocol (MPP).

Biggs explained that reinstating MPP, which kept migrants in Mexico for the duration of their hearings, will send a message to illegal immigrants seeking to enter the U.S. that DHS is serious about border security and enforcing immigration laws. The MPP program was set up under the Trump administration, however, the Biden administration has begun the process of removing the program.

“The Department’s current actions allowing aliens previously placed in MPP into the United States sends a strong message to aliens that our border is open and encourages aliens to attempt to enter illegally,” Biggs wrote.

Biggs then urged that Mayorkas rescind recent Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) guidance that narrowed the categories of migrants subject to arrest and deportation, saying it will “send a strong message that DHS will enforce the law.”

Biggs concluded the letter requesting that if Mayorkas chooses not to move forward with his recommendations, a detailed explanation is provided as to why.

There has been a surge of migrants at the border as the Biden administration has loosed immigration policies set in place by the Trump administration. Many are blaming the Biden administration’s new border policies for the surge.

The U.S. Border Patrol says encounters with unaccompanied migrant children are up 64% compared to last year. More than 100,000 children are expected to cross the border this year.

House Minority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-CA, also sent a letter last week requesting a meeting with President Biden to discuss the issue, saying he had “great concern” with the administration’s approach to border.

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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