The Biden administration just awarded several hefty contracts to disaster relief companies and nonprofits for the construction of new facilities to accommodate the overflow of unaccompanied migrant minors crossing into our country from Mexico.
The companies and organizations — which have experience ranging from responding to natural disasters, building quarantine centers and setting up tent sites to house migrants at the border — were awarded contracts, worth billions combined, without a bidding process.
So yes, for those of you keeping track at home, the Biden administration is now hiring private companies best equipped to address disasters to build facilities for what they insist is totally not a disaster.
The Associated Press reported that as over 22,000 unaccompanied minors are now in the custody of the federal government, the Department of Health and Human Services quickly granted the contracts to construct new facilities as space and staff are spread thin.
“In its haste to provide new facilities, the Department of Health and Human Services awarded the largest contracts — worth more than $2 billion — to two companies and a nonprofit without a bidding process and has exempted providers from the staffing requirements that state-licensed child facilities must meet, according to HHS and federal spending records,” the AP noted.
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This comes as two HHS facilities were abruptly closed over the past few weeks with little explanation from the department. In a statement, HHS officials said the facilities had only ever been temporary and that the children previously kept there were relocated to other sites or reunited with family members.
Attorneys who have visited some of the sites say children tell them they’ve not yet met with case managers, who are typically responsible for arranging a union with their relatives. Meanwhile, HHS refuses to allow news media into any facilities, citing (you guessed it) the coronavirus pandemic.
Of course, considering there have been very low standards for COVID-19 testing and quarantine practices within these facilities, one can only imagine they’re more concerned about protecting the journalists than they are about the children — if the reason for barring reporters from seeing these facilities does indeed have anything whatsoever to do with the pandemic.
Experts say that no matter the price tag, these new speedily awarded contracts may not be up to par with what one should expect from a facility meant to house children.
“When we are spending hundreds of millions of dollars, the government has to ensure that the services are being provided and that we are meeting the needs of the children,” Scott H. Amey, the general counsel at the watchdog group Project on Government Oversight, told the AP.
While Sarah DeYoung of the University of Delaware, an expert on evacuation shelters, warned that even though these companies may have been used by HHS to build facilities in the past, this “doesn’t mean they are doing it well in terms of children’s well-being.”
“It is critical that there would still be an outside assessment … including public health experts and people who have pediatric expertise,” she explained.
Meanwhile, the HHS insists that the new facilities will be “consistent with best practices/standards in emergency response or other humanitarian situations,” and that the department is taking “aggressive actions” to ensure children are released and reunited with their families soon.
In fact, as the Biden administration announced on Monday, four entire families that were separated while former President Donald Trump was in office were set to be reunited this week. Four! Not really sure how this is supposed to give us any hope beyond the fact that perhaps a dozen of these 22,000 children are back in the loving embrace of their parental units, with roughly 21,988 left to go.
Shall we address the elephant in the room here?
Yeah, how they’re forking over billions of our taxpayer dollars to shelter the unaccompanied migrant children that are coming here in the first place because of Biden administration policies?
They created this crisis — and it is a crisis — and now they’re just spending billions on damage control for what they clearly anticipate to be a long-term problem, if we’re at the point of making sure that child psychology is being taken into account while they build these shelters.
The real issue isn’t whether these facilities can best accommodate these children, although the welfare of any child of God should certainly be of the utmost importance to any civil society. The real issue is why they’re here in the first place, as nothing about this is good for the children involved no matter how you slice it.
It’s kind of bizarre for these critics of the new contract to be talking so methodically about making sure we have the best facilities to house the thousands of unaccompanied migrant minors flowing across our border rather than how to do something about the fact that thousands of unaccompanied migrant minors are flowing across our border.
I kind of think for a child to be trafficked by criminal cartel members or abandoned in a strange new place is probably going to be a bit more traumatizing for the potentially tens of thousands of more children who could be brought here over the next year and beyond than a poorly-designed facility might be.
Maybe this is something we should be addressing by investing billions into securing the southern border and targeting the cartel members, thus cutting off the exploitative trafficking schemes luring so many Central American families into this situation in the first place?
I mean, I’m just spitballing here.
If we’re going to discuss the well-being of children, how about addressing the raging humanitarian disaster that has resulted in so many children being trafficked, alone, into a country that is not their own, and ultimately in the custody of the federal government?
This is a complete and total disaster. These tens of thousands of innocent children may be costing American taxpayers an exorbitant amount of money to care for, but the worst part is that it is they who will suffer the biggest long-term costs of these disastrous policies entirely due to the terrible actions and decisions of many very foolish and feckless adults.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.
ARTICLE SOURCE: thefederalistpapers.org