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Report: DHS aiming to raise number of migrants released into the U.S.

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alejandro mayorkas

Amid a crisis that has seen hundreds of thousands of migrants cross the southern border over the past few months, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is aiming to raise the number of migrants allowed to be released into the United States through an alternative to the detention program, Fox News reported exclusively on Friday.

According to Fox News, internal DHS communications that it reportedly analyzed reveal that the department is hashing out plans to streamline the Alternatives to Detention (ATD) program. This, according to the outlet, is because raising the number of migrants enrolled in the program is becoming a priority for the DHS.

MORE ON THE BORDER: Whistleblower DHS official speaks out about the border crisis

The ATD program, which began in 2004, involves varying degrees of supervision for undocumented immigrants who are going through immigration proceedings. According to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) website, ATD can include methods ranging from GPS monitoring to office and home visits, depending on the immigrant and their background, criminal history, plus other factors.

“The Biden administration has made it clear that the border is not open,” a DHS spokesperson reportedly told Fox News. “Our policy is to expel single adults and families. In situations where individuals cannot be expelled, they are placed into removal proceedings and a custody determination is made, which could result in an Alternative to Detention program.”

According to the news outlet, the communications it reportedly analyzed suggest that the DHS will be participating in discussions with ICE to formulate plans for what will be required. Although, Fox News noted that migrants have recently been released without Notices to Appear in court, just notices to appear at their local ICE offices.

Amid the surge of migrants, which broke records last month, the Biden administration has been struggling to process and hold the migrants in custody. This has led to overcrowded conditions at migrant detention facilities, worsened by the coronavirus pandemic, and overall poor accommodations for detainees—especially unaccompanied children. There have even been reports of sexual abuse toward child detainees.

RELATED: March migrant detentions at southern border hit 15-year record

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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Screen Shot 2022 08 10 at 11.34.49 PM

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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