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Immigration

Report: Migrant children desperate to escape ‘tent city’ in Texas

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By Jenny Goldsberry

After crossing the border alone, children sheltered at Fort Bliss in Texas are attempting to escape according to report from CBS News Wednesday. Federal officials are now placing some children in 24-hour surveillance to keep them from escaping and also self-harming. The facility is made up of tents housing hundreds of migrants.

The Department of Homeland Security recently changed how the U.S. processes unaccompanied minors found at the border. Children are now sheltered by Human Health Services rather than Customs and Border Protection.

“They do not belong in a Border Patrol station,” DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said at the time. “Children belong in the shelter of Health and Human Services.”

As a result, migrant children have spent less and less time with Border Patrol. Back in March, each child spent an average of 133 hours in the custody of CBP. Now, in May, the average decreased to 26 hours per child. But, there is no data on how much time is spent in the custody of HHS.

“There’s very little communicated to these kids about the process and amount of time they’ll be here,” a federal government employee who volunteered at the “tent city” told CBS News. “So they live in constant doubt, uncertainty and fear about what’s gonna happen to them.”

“They’ve gone from a small cage at Border Patrol to a larger cage at Fort Bliss,” another federal government employee familiar with the site told CBS News. “It’s a juvenile detention facility.”

Read the full article here.

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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