A nonprofit in Texas received a massive contract worth up to $530 million — significantly larger than the organization’s annual budget — to help manage President Joe Biden’s border crisis after they hired a former Biden transition official.
“The contract is by far the largest ever awarded to Family Endeavors. It’s potentially worth more than 12 times the group’s most recently reported annual budget — a sign of the demand the new work will place on its operations,” Axios reported. “The no-bid contract also is the second largest ever awarded by the agency overseeing the migrant child program.”
The organization got the contract after it hired Andrew Lorenzen-Strait, who advised the Biden transition team on Department of Homeland Security policy and staffing matters, to be its senior director for migrant services and federal affairs.
The Washington Examiner reported that the Biden administration did not solicit bids for the contracts to house migrants that have illegally entered the U.S. in massive numbers. The report noted that the organization had no history of working with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) when it got the contract.
The Washington Examiner reported:
But Family Endeavors does have a former senior official on the Biden transition team in its leadership: former ICE official Andrew Lorenzen-Strait, identified as a potential broker in the deal by Rep. Andrew Clyde of Georgia, who is tracking the contract, as well as two others with knowledge of the situation.
On Jan. 20, Inauguration Day, Family Endeavors announced that Lorenzen-Strait would become its senior director for migrant services and federal affairs, meaning that he would be the organization’s liaison to the federal government. Within two months, Lorenzen-Strait secured the contract.
Government contracts are supposed to be awarded through an open competitive process, outlined in the Federal Acquisition Regulation. Information obtained through the Federal Procurement Data System indicates that ICE never opened the contract to outside companies and organizations but went with an internal candidate who had significant insider connections.
Critics have said that it is not normal for government contracts to be handed out without competition.
“Though the situation at the border might warrant the use of the [exception], I find it hard to believe that there were no other vendors that could have been at least considered for the award,” Rep. Andrew Clyde (R-GA) said. “I am gravely concerned given that ICE did not compete this contract award, that this is Endeavors’ first contract with ICE, and that the contract award amount far exceeds any previous award amounts with this organization.”
The news comes as Biden is dealing with a national security and humanitarian crisis on the southern border that is largely of his own making, according to numerous experts, who say that the situation rapidly deteriorated after Biden reversed many of the Trump administration’s policies. Roberta Jacobson, who Biden tapped to be his “border czar,” is set to step down from her role at the end of this month.
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