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Tags: hhs | migrant | children | government | contracts

Report: Refugee Office Increased Spending, Lost 100K Kids

By    |   Friday, 07 July 2023 02:21 PM EDT

The Office of Refugee Resettlement quadrupled the amount paid to contractors in the last two years, even as the agency lost track of nearly 100,000 unaccompanied migrant children.

According to records obtained by the Functional Government Initiative and published by The Washington Free Beacon, the Office of Refugee Resettlement paid out more than $6 billion each year in fiscal years 2021 and 2022 to contractors and nonprofits responsible for placing migrant children with responsible adults.

In 2020, the agency spent just $1.7 billion.

The billions in taxpayer dollars were supposed to go toward placing 264,000 unaccompanied minors with adult relatives or sponsors as they await court dates. The office reportedly lost track of 100,000 of them.

According to the Free Beacon, the sizable increase in spending can be attributed to more than $5 billion in no-bid contracts awarded to three companies, including the San Antonio-based nonprofit Family Endeavors.

Family Endeavors reportedly was awarded a $579 million no-bid contract with the Office of Refugee Resettlement in March 2021 — two months after the organization hired Biden transition adviser Andrew Lorenzen-Strait.

The nonprofit received the funds to provide housing for migrant children at a facility in Pecos, Texas, despite having no prior experience caring for illegal immigrants, the Washington Examiner reported.

Another $1.34 billion was paid to Family Endeavors by the Office of Refugee Resettlement in 2022, and an $87 million contract from Immigration and Customs Enforcement was awarded in March 2021 to temporarily house migrant families. It was later reported that the Department of Homeland Security Inspector General determined the organization had wasted $17 million on unused hotel rooms.

According to a Senate report obtained by the Free Beacon, the Department of Health and Human Services and the Office of Refugee Resettlement told Senate Republicans that they do not feel they are responsible for "protecting unaccompanied alien children from abuse and trafficking after placement with a sponsor."

Former Office of Refugee Resettlement Director Jonathan Hayes told the Free Beacon that the Biden administration "should have known this was going to happen."

"The increased funding that taxpayers have had to pony up is both outrageous and completely incapable of meeting the demands that the crisis has brought to many American cities across the country," the former Trump administration official said.

Functional Government Initiative Communications Director Peter McGinnis told the outlet that the current situation at the southern border is of the Biden administration’s own making.

"Putting aside the eye-popping increases in funds to house and transport migrant children — and the potential for rampant waste, fraud, and abuse — these records provide early receipts for the cartel-friendly immigration policy that actually endangers children," McGinnis said. "The federal government’s failure to exercise existing authority has created nothing short of a humanitarian crisis."

The Office of Refugee Resettlement is a program of the Administration for Children and Families, an office within the Department of Health and Human Services. 

HHS did not immediately reply to Newsmax's request for comment.

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


Politics
The Office of Refugee Resettlement quadrupled the amount paid to contractors in the last two years, even as the agency lost track of nearly 100,000 unaccompanied migrant children.
hhs, migrant, children, government, contracts
491
2023-21-07
Friday, 07 July 2023 02:21 PM
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