Republicans led by Oversight Committee leader Rep. James Comer (R-Kentucky) have sent a letter questioning the federal government's decision to approve a no-bid contract to house illegal immigrant families.
The Department of Homeland Security Inspector General recently released a report revealing U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials bypassed the ordinary competitive process to award a $87 million contract to a company called Endeavors. The report says ICE then wasted at least $17 million of taxpayer money because taxpayer-funded hotel rooms intended for illegal border crosser families sat empty and were mostly unused.
We write to express alarm at the potential waste of millions in taxpayer money and abuse of the contracting process by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials. Not only have the Biden Administration’s policies exacerbated the crisis on our border, it now appears the Administration is exploiting the crisis to reward its political allies with sole source contracts. The Biden Administration’s self-inflicted crisis has cost taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars across multiple federal departments. American taxpayers deserve accountability.”Oversight Committee Republicans to ICE Acting Director Tae Johnson
According to the Inspector General (OIG) investigation, Endeavors sent an unsolicited proposal to ICE to house migrant families, despite having no prior experience in providing these services.
ICE officials then reportedly awarded a sole source contract to Endeavors without obtaining any documentation that the nonprofit had the ability to provide the required services.
Endeavors won this contract and even larger contracts with the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) through a no bid process after hiring Andrew Lorenzen-Strait as Senior Director for Migrant Services and Federal Affairs, a political ally of the Biden Administration.
Mr. Lorenzen-Strait served on the Biden-Harris transition team and is a former official at ICE.
A report has surfaced that he is interviewing to return to ICE as its Chief of Staff.
In the letter to Acting Director Johnson, the Republican lawmakers call for all documents and information related to the contract awarded to Endeavors.
The letter can be read here.