The United States is experiencing a massive wave of migration at its southern border. But while most would regard the situation as a crisis, it seems to be turning into a financial opportunity for others.
Among those reaping the benefits is Family Endeavors, a social services organization that was said to have received over $600,000,000 worth of no-bid federal contracts to help manage the immigration surge after it hired an individual with ties to the Biden administration, the Washington Examiner reports. Now, Republicans are demanding answers.
Johnson digs deep
As the Examiner reported, Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson (R) sent letters Wednesday to Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Acting Director Tae D. Johnson demanding details about their relationship with Family Endeavors.
“I write today regarding the Biden administration’s decision to award a contract worth as much as $529.5 million to the nonprofit, Family Endeavors,” Johnson said in his letter to Becerra.
“Health and Human Services (HHS) awarded the no-bid contract to the Texas nonprofit, Family Endeavors, after the group ‘hired a Biden transition official,'” Johnson added.
“This no-bid contract is reportedly ‘the second largest ever awarded by [HHS] overseeing the migrant child program,’” he pointed out.
The Republican lawmaker then asked for copies of “[a]ll emails regarding HHS’s review of and decision on this contract,” along with “any communications between and among HHS employees and employees or representatives of Family Endeavors.”
What’s more, Johnson sought an explanation for why Becerra’s department “did not compete the contract that it ultimately awarded to Family Endeavors.”
“Unusual and compelling urgency”
The senator’s letter to ICE’s acting director requested information about that agency’s $87 million contract with Family Endeavors. In particular, Johnson wanted details concerning the “unusual and compelling urgency” that was cited as an excuse for skipping the normal contract bid process.
Johnson serves as the ranking member of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs’ Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. He gave the Biden administration officials until April 28 to respond to his letter.
According to the Washington Examiner, Family Endeavors has on its payroll Andrew Lorenzen-Strait, who previously worked on Biden’s transition team.
Lorenzen-Strait was also once a high-ranking ICE official who worked for the agency from 2008 until 2019, and at one point oversaw detention facilities. At the time of his departure, current ICE Acting Director Tae D. Johnson was his immediate superior, the Examiner noted.