Vice President Kamala Harris said Wednesday she is planning to travel to Mexico and Guatemala as part of her efforts to resolve the border crisis.
In March, President Joe Biden gave Harris the position of leading U.S. efforts with Mexico and Central America’s Northern Triangle countries – Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala – to stop the flow of migrants into the U.S.
At a Northern Triangle security roundtable on Wednesday, Harris said she plans to go to Guatemala “as soon as possible,” later adding that she will also be visiting Mexico.
“We have plans in the works to go to Guatemala, as soon as possible, Harris told reporters.”
“Our focus is to deal with the root causes and I am looking forward to traveling, hopefully as my first trip, to the Northern Triangle, stopping in Mexico and then going to Guatemala.”
The Biden administration has faced intense criticism of their handling of the historic surge in migrants to the border.
Harris has been called “the worst possible choice” to lead the efforts on the border crisis by Gov. Doug Ducey, who also said she “flat out” doesn’t care.
The Vice President previously went 21 days without holding a news conference to answer reporters’ questions about her border-related role.
President Biden currently has no plans to visit the border.
Follow Annaliese Levy on Twitter @AnnalieseLevy
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IG Audit shows nonprofit wasted $17 million taxpayer dollars on hotels to not house illegal foreign nationals
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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