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Immigration

ICE, CBP stop using terms like ‘illegal alien’, ‘assimilation’

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The heads of the two U.S. immigration enforcement agencies were directed by the Biden administration to use words such as “noncitizen” and “integration” instead of “alien” and “assimilation” as part of its effort to use immigration terms seen as more humane, according to memos obtained first by The Washington Post.

Troy Miller and Tae Johnson, the acting heads of Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), on Monday issued separate memos to staff detailing the new changes regarding the use of certain immigration terms in internal and external communications, such as public statements.

Instead of “alien,” the memos instruct employees of both agencies to use “migrant” or “noncitizen”; “undocumented” rather than “illegal”; and “integration” instead of “assimilation,” according to The Post. The memos also tell CBP and ICE employees to use “noncitizenship” instead of “alienage”.

Advocates have long called for the retirement of these terms, which they argue are dehumanizing to the people they describe, and the adoption of a more civil tone.

“As the nation’s premier law enforcement agency, we set a tone and example for our country and partners across the world,” CBP’s Miller said in his memo. “We enforce our nation’s laws while also maintaining the dignity of every individual with whom we interact. The words we use matter and will serve to further confer that dignity to those in our custody.”

ICE’s Johnson spoke similarly in his memo, saying, “In response to the vision set by the Administration, ICE will ensure agency communications use the preferred terminology and inclusive language.”

Officials, according to The Post, said the changes take effect immediately. The officials also acknowledge that they may need to use the terms in “legal or operational documents,” such as when filling out required forms.

MORE ON THE BORDER: Biden calls border surge a ‘crisis’ for the first time

Among those classified as noncitizens, according to the newspaper, are immigrants who are in the United States illegally, as well as millions of legal permanent residents—also known as green-card holders—and visitors arriving on work and tourist visas.

These changes come amid a record-breaking number of migrants—especially thousands of unaccompanied children—illegally crossing the U.S.-Mexico border over the past few months, as well as the resulting crisis that has seen overcrowded migrant detention facilities with poor accommodations.

MORE ON THE BORDER: Sara Carter: The border crisis is ‘astounding’

You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @DouglasPBraff.

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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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