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Immigration

GOP reps demand answers about suspect migrant housing contracts

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A month after Health and Human Services and Immigration and Customs Enforcement signed a contract with Endeavors Inc. to house migrant families, Reps. Jim Jordan (R-OH), James Comer (R-KY) and Tom McClintock (R-CA) are demanding more information surrounding the deal.

Previously, all ICE revealed was that it was an $86.9 million deal that would provide 1,200 beds for families. These families spend less than 72 hours in these hotels at a time. HHS also has a contract with Endeavors Inc. for about $530 million.

Now, in a series of letters, the GOP representatives want to know exactly which hotels are housing these families, including the meals and rooms provided to them. They are also calling for a full accounting of all expenses and all communications between the parties involved. The letters have been penned to Endeavors President and CEO Jon Allman, HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra, and Acting ICE Director Tae Johnson.

This contract is suspicious for several reasons, the members say. Among them, Endeavors hired a former ICE official and Biden-Harris transition team advisors as its senior director for migrant services and federal affairs right after the contract was finalized. It was also a no-bid contract. So, Jordan, Comer, and McClintock have given the three organizations till May 27th to hand it all over.

You can follow Jenny Goldsberry on Twitter @jennyjournalism

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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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