Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Wasted $17M On Empty Hotel Rooms

ICE empty hotel rooms
Screenshot: Bill Megulin Twitter

By Adam Andrzejewski for RealClearPolicy

Immigration and Customs Enforcement wasted $17 million on 1,200 largely-unused hotel rooms to house migrant families, and hired a contractor that did not follow Covid-19 testing protocols, according to a new report from the Department of Homeland Security Inspector General.

The report found that “ICE did not adequately justify the need for the sole source contract to house migrant families” which resulted in “approximately $17 million for hotel spaces and services at six hotels that went largely unused” between April and June of 2021.

Additionally, instead of soliciting bids to drive the price down, they simply signed an $87 million “sole source contract” with the contractor.

The report also found that the contractor, Endeavors, didn’t follow the department’s Covid-19 testing protocols.

For example, the report found that migrants were not tested before being sent to or from hotels, in violation of department procedures. Endeavor also did not “follow required ICE standards to ensure proper care for housing migrant families,” such as providing snacks and storage areas to migrants.  

RELATED: Report: Congresswoman Alleges Biden Admin Shipping Free Baby Formula To Illegal Immigrants

ICE agreed with the Inspector General that it should do a better job assessing how many beds and rooms are needed before entering into a contract, but disputed the claim that proper contracting procedures weren’t followed.

The New York Post reports that at around the time Endeavor received the DHS contract, the company entered into an even bigger contract with the Department of Health and Human Services. Both contracts came after Endeavor hired Biden transition team member Andrew Lorenzen-Strait as a senior director for migrant services and federal affairs.

Whether this was a result of nepotism or not, all federal agencies should use competitive bidding to be efficient, and not waste millions on exclusive contracts with unvetted contractors.

Syndicated with permission from Real Clear Wire.

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