Florida: Refugee contractors squabble over government boodle
Posted by Ann Corcoran on January 22, 2016
I have to admit this is some great reporting at the Huffington Post.
It adds considerable detail to a dispute we knew a little about, but more importantly it is a window into the ‘souls’ of the ‘humanitarian’ refugee contractors. We have been telling readers for years that resettling refugees, and in this case taking care of the so-called Unaccompanied Alien Children, is all about MONEY. It is about competition between contractors and it is about the revolving door as contractors become political appointees then return to their former boss (the contractor) as recipients of lucrative government contracts.
This is a complicated story and I’m going to urge you to read it all, but here is what you need to know about a couple of the key players in this drama.
And, let me ask at the outset! Where is Congress?
Some of the players (we have many posts here at RRW on these characters, search their names):
Lavinia Limon was Bill Clinton’s head of the federal Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) and now heads the US Committee for Refugees and Immigrants (USCRI).
Eskinder Negash was a Vice President at USCRI before he was chosen to head the Office of Refugee Resettlement in the Obama Administration. Negash resigned suddenly in December of 2014. No one ever publicly explained his sudden departure. And, then eventually he returned to USCRI.
Bob Carey is now the head of ORR (replacing Negash) and he comes to the government job from yet another contractor, the International Rescue Committee. And, although not mentioned here, the person in charge of refugees at the US State Department, Anne Richard, came to her perch there from, you guessed it, the International Rescue Committee.
So, the IRC has two former employees heading the two major agencies involved with resettling refugees. But, that is a story for another day!
The arrival of tens of thousands of Unaccompanied Alien Children in the summer of 2014, and many thousands before and since, unleashed gobs of government grant and contract money to the same agencies (the nine big refugee contractors and two other newer contractors) not only for the care of the ‘children’ which they are pretending are legitimate refugees/asylum seekers, but also for their legal fees in their attempts to keep them here in America by transforming them into legal immigrants.
Which brings us to this incredible piece of reporting!
Of course, the spin here is that the children are suffering (and the legal system will be bogged down), but readers take note: this report raises questions about alleged corruption in the entire grants and contracts system run by the Office of Refugee Resettlement in the Dept. of Health and Human Services.
The tip-off that there is a problem comes when the Catholic Bishops get mad that USCRI is getting some boodle unfairly when they want the boodle!
Bizarre Contract Dispute Putting Thousands Of Migrant Children At Risk, by Ryan Grim, begins:
WASHINGTON — Thousands of unaccompanied minors who came across the U.S. border as part of the migrant crisis are at risk of being deported without due process, the archbishop of Miami has warned the Obama administration.
Although the law dictates that these children must be given legal services, recent moves by the Office of Refugee Resettlement have thrown that into doubt. ORR, which is an agency under the umbrella of Health and Human Services, awarded the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants a contract to represent the children. USCRI in turn planned to subcontract with a social services firm that employed zero attorneys at the time.
I want you to read it all. It is complicated, but oh so juicy!
Did USCRI get the contract because Negash was the head of ORR? Is this why Negash resigned so suddenly back in December of 2014? Shouldn’t there be a law that contractors cannot move in and out of government positions where they are in a position to award grants and contracts to their former bosses?
Where is Trey Gowdy (chairman of the committee responsible for refugees in the House of Representatives)? Does he know about this? Is his committee investigating?
If you are as outraged as I am by the allegations raised in the Huffington Post story, please send the article to your member of Congress and US Senators and demand they get to the bottom of this because after all it is YOUR money!
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