Although his focus seems to be directed at the moment on the ‘Halliburtons’ of federal migrant resettlement contractors, Baptist Child and Family Services and Southwest Key Programs, he must be sure that the Department of Health and Human Services (Office of Refugee Resettlement) gives him information on ALL of the contractors*** receiving grants and contracts for ‘unaccompanied alien children’ (some of those “children” now appear to be fictitious!).
If Senator Grassley gets any answers out of the Obama Administration I will be blown away!
Investigative reporter Sharyl Attkisson (there are a few real investigative reporters left!) reports on Senator Charles Grassley’s quest, here. Hat tip: Joanne.
The federal government continues to maintain a great deal of secrecy around the influx of what it calls “unaccompanied alien children” or UAC. At the same time, U.S. taxpayers are being asked to fund programs to process and care for them.
Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) recently wrote a letter to the Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell stating,
“If Congress is going to appropriate funding for the department to provide care and custody for this vulnerable population, it deserves to know how taxpayer dollars are going to be spent.”
Grassley also raised questions about a charity called Southwest Key Programs that “received $368 million in federal government grants over the past six years and more than $122 million alone from the Health and Human Services’ Office of Refugee Resettlement in 2014. According to the non-profit’s 2012 Form 990, it receives 98.76 percent of its support from taxpayer dollars.”
To date, Grassley says his questions to HHS have gone unanswered. Among other queries, he asked for information about who the unaccompanied minors are being released to, the health issues facing the unaccompanied minors, and the decision to move millions of dollars away from service for legal refugees. [Reports are coming out now that the funding to contractors for legal refugees has not been cut, despite the national scare-tactic campaign ginned-up by the contractors*** which we have been reporting on.—ed]
Attkisson then gives us the questions Senator Grassley wants answered by September 5th. I think the good Senator is going to find out just how steeped in secrecy our entire refugee program is!
1. The names of the (HHS) contractors and all identifying information about them, including –their location.
2. What kinds of checks are done on relatives, parents and other guardians? Specifically, what databases are checked and what other agencies help HHS with the checks?
3. What statute, regulation or court order mentions that HHS must release minors into the custody of other non-relative guardians?
4. Why doesn’t HHS report to (Department of Homeland Security) DHS about whom and where the UAMs [UACs—ed] are released to?
5. Are there any examples of sponsor shopping and what you do with that information? My staff followed up on this matter, asking about a recent report about a woman who has taken more than 800 kids into custody for people here illegally.
6. Do you have a summary of the health issues facing the UAM population?
a. Are kids with contagious diseases treated by HHS?
b. Are they released even when contagious?
c. What types of diseases are you seeing?
d. Is the Office of Refugee Resettlement coordinating with the Centers for Disease Control?
7. A copy of the reprogramming request made to appropriators about moving $94 million from legal refugee services to the UAMs.
8. Explain in more detail why HHS is paying up to $1,000 per day for housing unaccompanied minors and families who have entered illegally.
9. How many contracts has BCFS been awarded from 2010 to the present? What is the total cost of these contracts?
10. How many grants has BCFS been awarded from 2010 to the present? What is the total cost of these grants?
11. Please provide all communications and contract documents related to BCFS’ proposed contract and the Palm Aire Hotel and Suites facility, even if the contract is no longer under consideration.
12. Please provide all audits [see my comment below—ed] of grantees receiving HHS funds from the Office of Refugee Resettlement.
13. For fiscal year 2014, what percentage of the funds obligated to grantees by the Office of Refugee Resettlement have been used for administrative expenses? Please provide a detailed breakdown of these expenses.
14. Please provide all OMB A-133 forms for grantees receiving funds from HHS’ Office of Refugee Resettlement.
15. Please provide documentation that grantees are complying with OMB A-122 standards.
16. Please provide all grantee reports to HHS on their progress towards meeting stated program goals.
17. Please provide all communications between HHS and Southwest Key related to UAMs in 2014.
18. Please provide all grant and contract documents between HHS and Southwest Key Programs.
*** The Senator must be sure to ask about the other major federal migrant resettlement contractors. (All of the original nine lobbied for the Gang of Eight amnesty bill that passed in the Senate (did they use taxpayer dollars for their lobbying campaigns???)).
We know that the US Conference of Catholic Bishops and Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (both receiving over 90% of their funds from the US Treasury) have been contracted for years to care for the UACs. Some of the others listed here are just now getting into the act with hands in the federal cookie jar specifically for the UACs.
By the way, when I first began writing this blog seven years ago I asked if there was financial auditing done on these contractors and was told there are no audits done of where the money goes. I was told only “program audits” were done which were described to be audits of what they accomplished, like how many refugees they “serviced” found employment and so forth. Those original nine contractors, which have an inside track to federal money, have 300 plus subcontractors which makes following the money trail exceedingly difficult.
The federal migrant resettlement contractors which we have followed for years (Grant recipient big dogs (devouring federal cash) Baptist Child and Family Services and Southwest Key Programs are new on the scene in recent years.):
Our complete archive on ‘unaccompanied minors’ goes back several years, click here for all of those posts.
Evolution of terms! When we first began reporting on these “children” they were referred to as ‘unaccompanied minors’ and that is why we use the term here (so you can find posts from years gone by). Next, the ORR (Office of Refugee Resettlement) called them ‘Unaccompanied alien minors.’ And then as the PR strategy continued to evolve they became ‘unaccompanied alien children.’ Recently I saw another transformation of the the term—‘unaccompanied immigrant children.’ You see how it works! Next we expect to see ‘unaccompanied refugee children’ as the Open Borders Left/Religious Left continues their public relations drive to change the definition of ‘refugee.’
Take action! Send a note and thank Senator Grassley for wading into this dung pile!