In Northern California, County Sheriff Carlos Bolanos declared on Tuesday that “effective immediately, his office will no longer respond to any requests from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for notification of an inmate’s release or transfer any inmate to its custody,” according to a Fox News report.
In the announcement, Sheriff Bolanos states that “It has become apparent to me that complying with those requests regarding the pending release of undocumented individuals who have committed serious crimes is undermining the trust we need to protect the community. It is simply not worth losing the trust of many members of the public by continuing to process these requests from ICE.”
Last year, the Sheriff’s Office “coordinated 15 transfers to ICE from the county jail,” adding that most who are guilty serve their sentences in state prison as opposed to the county jail. The Office has noted that ICE can still obtain a judicial warrant if they believe an individual may pose a dangerous threat. According to Fox News, the number of administrative arrests by ICE’s Enforcement and Removal Operations is expected to show a decrease in Fiscal Year 2021 which has been the trend since Fiscal Year 2018.
This decision comes after a meeting with residents who commented earlier in the month at the Transparent Review of Unjust Transfers and Holds (TRUTH) Act Forum that they feel safer when the Sheriff’s Office does not enforce immigration laws. This meeting is required to convene “when law enforcement cooperates with ICE.”
The President of the Board, David J. Canepa, believes the decision by Sheriff Bolanos to stop working with ICE is “momentous and compassionate.” Through terminating ties with ICE, Bolanos asserts that this is his way of ensuring the public is kept safe. He adds that “this decision helps fulfill his office’s mission to protect the safety of all San Mateo County residents, and it relies on county residents’ trust and willingness to cooperate with law enforcement, report crimes and testify in court.”
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IG Audit shows nonprofit wasted $17 million taxpayer dollars on hotels to not house illegal foreign nationals
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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