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Sen. Blackburn says Afghan refugees ‘have not been vetted,’ brought ‘child brides,’ and aren’t SIVs

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Marsha Blackburn Senator

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Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) blasted the Biden administration for not effectively vetting Afghan refugees. Instead, very few of the refugees accepted had Special Immigrant Visas. The Tennessee senator appeared on Fox Business’ Evening Edit Monday to talk about these refugees.

“These are individuals who have not been vetted. There is a very specific vetting process for our special immigrant visa holders,” Blackburn said. “But look, out of the people that they got out, that they were bragging about this as an extraordinary success, only 3% were visa holders. . . . And now, they’re trying to vet them on the back end.”

Meanwhile, Blackburn claims, some of these refugees haven’t toeing the law. She claims there are “men that are bringing in child brides. We have heard of these assault cases,” Blackburn said. “We know that that [an] indictment has been issued.”

But there’s no help from the Afghanistan government to vet these refugees. “You cannot call 1-800 Taliban and find out if somebody is who they claim to be,” Blackburn said. “Because your government institutions, your processes are basically nonexistent in Afghanistan, because the Taliban’s a terrorist group.”

Then on Tuesday, Blackburn tweeted that “Tennesseans are angry. We deserve answers regarding the failure in Afghanistan.” As a result of serving on the Senate Committee on Armed Services, she has the opportunity to question those leaders in charge of the withdrawal. In addition, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, Join Chiefs of Staff Chairman General Mark Milley and U.S. Central Commander General Kenneth McKenzie appeared for the hearing.

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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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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