Is the federal government buying houses for illegal aliens?
The Biden administration has approved plans to have the Department of Homeland Security and Immigration and Customs Enforcement spend nearly $87 million for housing illegal aliens at the nation’s border, and now Sen. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., has some questions.
After all, she pointed out: “As the current contract stands, the cost to taxpayers for housing 1,200 migrant families for six months is about $71,000 per person. For a family of four, that amounts to a shocking $284,000 — enough to buy a small house.”
Fox News reported the federal agencies have approved a contract for more than $86.9 million through a Texas nonprofit, called Endeavors, for “hotel rooms near the border to provide temporary shelter and processing services.”
In a letter, Blackburn asked DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and ICE acting Director Tae Johnson for information about the contract and about Endeavors, which has a record of using significant amounts of its income for salaries. She pointed out that in 2018, the organization drew “over $38 million in contributions and grants.”
But about $22 million of that amount was used for salaries, she said.
“This raises questions if half of the $86.9 million in ICE contract proceeds will likewise be allocated toward employee and executive compensation instead of migrant services or housing,” Blackburn wrote.
The report noted the ICE contract with Endeavors calls for 1,239 beds and other services for families, including victim services, educational resources, mental health care and COVID testing.
But Blackburn says she wants specific information.
“It is unclear whether this nonprofit has ever previously managed a contract of this magnitude, housed a migrant population of this size or served vulnerable children without putting them at further risk,” the senator wrote.
Endeavors has deferred answering questions about the contract details.
“DHS and ICE,” the senator wrote, “must provide commitments to assure Congress and the American public that Endeavors is up for the task of securely and efficiently housing illegal immigrants without resulting in waste or abuse of taxpayer dollars, or worse, harming vulnerable migrant children.”
She said many answers could come from an unredacted copy of the contract, which she would like to see.
Informatoin is needed, she said, about which hotels are being paid, the rates and who will compensate them.
Further, she wondered whether Endeavors was running background checks on workers and volunteers “amid reports that the Office of Refugee Resettlement between 2015 and 2019 received more than 4,500 allegations of sexual abuse and sexual harassment against children in facilities.”
And what about security?
Fox News reported the number of migrant children in federal custody has surged past 4,000, with thousands more expected.
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