June 21, 2021
Expensive Secretary Mayorkas and Performing Director Johnson,
The undersigned organizations write with issues concerning U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) custody packages involving households arriving on the U.S. Southern border. In March, ICE signed a short-term no-bid contract with Household Endeavors (“Endeavors”) for 1,239 lodge beds and different associated companies. The Biden-Harris administration has additionally expanded an present contract and signed a brand new one, price a complete of $136 million, with the controversial non-public safety contractor MVM Inc. Now we have severe issues concerning the style through which these packages are being carried out and the shortage of transparency surrounding the contracts. We name on the Biden-Harris administration to maneuver away from ICE’s reliance on resorts and put money into the creation of NGO-run post-release Border Reception and Welcome Facilities, the place asylum seekers can obtain voluntary respite and social assist companies, COVID-19 testing as wanted together with an orientation to the asylum system and help with securing protected transportation to their remaining vacation spot. We additionally request that you just present info clarifying the character of ICE’s contracts with MVM and Endeavors, and on another packages involving ICE’s use of resorts to detain and/or course of households at present in place or underneath negotiation.
We perceive and admire that the administration is working to obtain a major variety of households arriving on the U.S.-Mexico border. We additionally perceive that Endeavors is holding households apprehended on the border in numerous areas, supplying COVID-19 testing, assist with medical care, meals, and help with onward transportation. Nevertheless, the operations on the bottom have raised severe issues concerning the therapy and lack of freedom of motion of these held in ICE custody underneath the Endeavors program. We’re additionally alarmed to see numbers of lively COVID-19 circumstances rising in resorts utilized by Endeavors.
So far we’ve not heard any proof as to why Endeavors was contracted when native NGO service suppliers who’ve for years supplied companies to assist these looking for on the border are keen and in a position to scale up their companies. Furthermore, in some areas, Endeavors has launched households to community-based shelters earlier than finishing their quarantine to keep away from holding folks in ICE custody longer than 72-hours, inserting the burden on native NGOs whereas on the similar time diverting sources away from native shelters with confirmed observe data and neighborhood belief. Not like community-based shelters, the Endeavors lodge program seems to function as a custodial mannequin, the place folks shouldn’t have the liberty to go away their rooms or services, and shouldn’t have full entry to authorized companies. Somewhat than lengthen ICE custody, which each presents extreme prices and dangers underneath this pandemic and past, we urge the federal government to launch households to shelters the place they may safely obtain the companies they want.
Along with ongoing questions round ICE’s contract with Household Endeavors, it’s significantly alarming that this administration has paid out hundreds of thousands to resume contracts with the army contracting firm MVM inc, and quietly entered into a brand new settlement for the transport of migrant kids and households. Utilizing a army contractor to move migrants arriving on the border has inflicted irreversible hurt and trauma on kids.
We name on the Biden-Harris administration to instantly interact in larger transparency with reference to the border administration and processing packages, and to show to the trusted native NGOs who stand prepared to help with supporting these launched from the border as an alternative of hoteling them. Border reception and welcoming facilities ought to be funded and operated outdoors of ICE and CBP, with trusted community-based nonprofit organizations offering contracted companies. Present border shelter networks present very important look after asylum seekers arriving on the U.S.-Mexico border, and have the capability to supply extra companies for much lower than what’s allotted in direction of Endeavors and MVM contracts. Critically, such packages should be established in session with border communities and use a trauma-informed method.
We stay up for listening to your response. You probably have any questions, please contact: Manoj Govindaiah, RAICES (firstname.lastname@example.org); Setareh Ghandehari, Detention Watch Community (email@example.com); Laura St. John, Florence Immigrant & Refugee Rights Venture (firstname.lastname@example.org), Jorge Loweree, American Immigration Council, (JLoweree@immcouncil.org); and Jesse Franzblau, Nationwide Immigrant Justice Middle, (email@example.com).
Advocate Guests with Immigrants in Detention (AVID) within the Chihuahuan Desert
Al Otro Lado
Aldea – The Folks’s Justice Middle
American Associates Service Committee (AFSC)
American Immigration Legal professionals Affiliation
Arizona Jews for Justice
Asylum Seeker Advocacy Venture (ASAP)
Austin Border Aid
AZ Hispanic Neighborhood Discussion board
Bellevue Program for Survivors of Torture
Bishop Enrique San Pedro Ozana
Bishop, United Methodist Church, Desert Southwest Convention
Black Mountain United Church of Christ
Bridges Religion Initiative
Casas Adobes Congregational UCC
Catholic Charities (Santa Fe)
Catholic Charities of Gallup, Inc.
Catholic Charities of Southern New Mexico
Catholic Coalition for Migrant Justice
Catholic Neighborhood Providers of Southern Arizona dba Casa Alitas Program
Middle for Gender & Refugee Research
Middle for Victims of Torture
Centro Authorized de la Raza
Council on American Islamic-Relations – San Diego
Detention Watch Community
Medical doctors For Camp Closure
ELCA (Evangelical Lutheran Church in America)
Esperanza Immigrant Rights Venture
Religion in Public Life Motion
First Church United Church of Christ
Florence Immigrant & Refugee Rights Venture
Freedom For Immigrants
Good Neighbor Settlement Home
Authorities Accountability Venture
Houston Immigration Authorized Providers Collaborative
Human Rights First
Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights
Immigrant Motion Alliance
Immigrant Defenders Legislation Middle
Immigrant Justice Idaho
Immigrant Authorized Advocacy Venture
Immigration Advocates Community
Immigration Ministry of St Michael & All Angels Episcopal Church, Albuquerque, NM
Immigration Job Power, United Church of Santa Fe
Worldwide Rescue Committee
Jewish Activists for Immigration Justice of Western MA
Jewish Neighborhood Relations Council of Larger Phoenix
Jewish Household Service of San Diego
Jewish Historical past Museum and Holocaust Historical past Middle of Tucson
JFCS of Southern Arizona
Justice Motion Middle
Ktizo UCC Church
La Posada Providencia
Latin America Working Group (LAWG)
Legal professionals for Good Authorities, Venture Corazon
Authorized Assist Justice Middle
Louisiana Advocates for Immigrants in Detention
Mabel Middle for Immigrant Justice
Maryland In opposition to ICE Detention
Maryland Legislative Coalition
Minnesota Interfaith Coalition on Immigration
Nationwide Affiliation of Social Employees
Nationwide Affiliation of Social Employees, Arizona
Nationwide Council of Jewish Ladies Arizona
Nationwide Immigrant Justice Middle (NIJC)
Nationwide Immigration Legislation Middle (NILC)
Nationwide Immigration Venture (NIPNLG)
Nationwide Legal professionals Guild of Los Angeles
Nationwide Community for Immigrant & Refugee Rights
NETWORK Foyer for Catholic Social Justice
Oro Valley United Church of Christ
Pennsylvania Immigration and Citizenship Coalition
Venture Corazon, Legal professionals for Good Authorities
Rainbow Bridge Asylum Seekers
Refugee and Immigrant Middle for Training and Authorized Providers (RAICES)
San Diego Immigrant Rights Consortium
Scottsdale Congregational United Church of Christ
Sister of Mercy
Sisters of the Holy Spirit
Sisters of the Holy Spirit and Mary Immaculate
Sisters of the Sacred Coronary heart of Jesus
Southern Border Communities Coalition
Southwest Convention of the United Church of Christ
Survivors of Torture, Worldwide
Takoma Park Mobilization – Equal Justice Committee
Taos United Neighborhood Church (UCC)
Taylor Levy Legislation
The Good Shepherd United Church of Christ
The Inexperienced Valley/Sahuarita Samaritans
Torture Abolition And Survivors Help Coalition Worldwide
Uncage & Reunite Households Coalition
United Church of Christ
United Church of Santa Fe
United Church buildings Fellowship UCC, Nogales, AZ
Washington Workplace on Latin America
Ladies’s Refugee Fee
 United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement, “Assertion attributable to ICE Performing Director Tae D. Johnson,” March 20, 2021, https://www.ice.gov/news/releases/statement-attributable-ice-acting-director-tae-d-johnson.
 The interval of efficiency goes from March 16, 2021 via September 20, 2021, with a mattress price of $352.64 per day. See U.S. Division of Homeland Safety, Contract Award Quantity 70CDCR2100000001, Emergency Household Reception Websites, printed April 7, 2021, https://beta.sam.gov/opp/344bbe2d8fdd48dd9a0d5c5cfe206cde/view?keywords=&sort=-modifiedDate&index=&is_active=true&page=1&date_filter_index=0&inactive_filter_values=false&organization_id=100012075.
 Felipe De La Hoz, “Biden Showers Money on ex-CIA Contractor MVM to Switch Migrants,” The Each day Beast, Might 3, 2021, https://www.thedailybeast.com/biden-showers-cash-on-ex-cia-contractor-mvm-inc-to-transfer-migrants?source=articles&via=rss. The prior administration contracted with MVM as a part of its shadow system that concerned detaining migrant kids and households in resorts earlier than rapidly deporting them, bypassing the conventional course of that’s required to offer kids an opportunity to hunt asylum within the U.S. See, i.e., Caitlin Dickerson, “A Non-public Safety Firm Is Detaining Migrant Kids at Accommodations,” New York Occasions, October 21, 2020, https://www.nytimes.com/2020/08/16/us/migrant-children-hotels-coronavirus.html.
 See, i.e, UNHCR, The UN Refugee Company, “Border Shelter Toolkit: Finest Practices in Sheltering Asylum-Searching for Households on the U.S. Southern Border,” February 2021, https://www.unhcr.org/en-us/601b7c804.pdf.
 The DHS Workplace of the Inspector Basic has introduced an investigation into ICE’s plans to accommodate migrant households in resorts, and the way ICE chosen a contractor to implement these plans. See U.S. Division of Homeland Safety, Workplace of the Inspector Basic (OIG), ‘“ICE’s Contract to Home Migrants in Accommodations,” (Might 2021), https://www.oig.dhs.gov/node/6352.
 The ICE-Endeavors contract justification signifies that Endeavors is overseeing what DHS calls “emergency household reception websites” in Texas and Arizona. See U.S. Division of Homeland Safety, Contract Award Quantity 70CDCR2100000001, Emergency Household Reception Websites, printed April 7, 2021, https://beta.sam.gov/opp/344bbe2d8fdd48dd9a0d5c5cfe206cde/view?keywords=&sort=-modifiedDate&index=&is_active=true&page=1&date_filter_index=0&inactive_filter_values=false&organization_id=100012075. See additionally Ted Hesson and Kristina Cooke, “U.S. to Place Some Migrant Households in Accommodations in Transfer Away From Detention Facilities,” U.S. Information, March 20, 2021, https://www.usnews.com/news/top-news/articles/2021-03-20/us-to-place-some-migrant-families-in-hotels-in-move-away-from-detention-centers.
 See Ted Hesson and Kristina Cooke, “U.S. to Place Some Migrant Households in Accommodations in Transfer Away From Detention Facilities,” U.S. Information, March 20, 2021, https://www.usnews.com/news/top-news/articles/2021-03-20/us-to-place-some-migrant-families-in-hotels-in-move-away-from-detention-centers.
 ICE Steerage on COVID-19, “COVID-19 ICE Detainee Statistics by Facility,” [last visited June 10, 2021] https://www.ice.gov/coronavirus.
 117th U.S. Congress. Home Committee on Appropriations, Division of Homeland Safety Subcommittee. “Division of Homeland Safety Useful resource Administration and Operational Priorities” Might 26, 2021, https://appropriations.house.gov/events/hearings/department-of-homeland-security-resource-management-and-operational-priorities.
 Felipe De La Hoz, “Biden Showers Money on ex-CIA Contractor MVM to Switch Migrants,” The Each day Beast, Might 3, 2021, https://www.thedailybeast.com/biden-showers-cash-on-ex-cia-contractor-mvm-inc-to-transfer-migrants?source=articles&via=rss.
 See Dominic Anthony Walsh and Reynaldo Leaños Jr., “Migrants Are Being Held In Accommodations And Then Expelled With out Entry To Attorneys,” Texas Public Radio, July 23, 2020, https://www.tpr.org/border-immigration/2020-07-23/migrants-are-being-held-in-hotels-and-then-expelled-without-access-to-attorneys. See additionally, Vanessa Swales, “ICE gave $185 million deal to protection contractor underneath investigation for housing youngsters in workplace,” Reveal Information, October 15, 2018, https://revealnews.org/article/ice-gave-185-million-deal-to-defense-contractor-under-investigation-for-housing-kids-in-office.
 The Request for Data (RFI) printed by DHS on June 2, 2021 seems to acknowledge issues raised by border organizations concerning the failure to research present sources previous to getting into on the Endeavors contract. Nevertheless, the preliminary timeline on the RFI was pretty ill-suited to acquire significant interplay from a various group of border humanitarian support organizations. See U.S. Division of Homeland Safety, RFI: Emergency Household Staging Facilities, June 2, 2021, https://sam.gov/opp/c370ac9d8c4c486ead7d7b6f5cd47b2e/view.
 See, i.e., Church World Providers, “Border Shelter Community and Name Middle,” https://cwsglobal.org/our-work/north-america/border-shelter-network-and-call-center.