Taxpayer costs soaring for Biden border surge, contracts show
Since Jan. 20, administration has spent hundreds of millions of dollars for meals, medical care, legal services, and temporary facilities for those illegally crossing the southern border.
The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook
The cost to U.S. taxpayers for the border crisis continues to surge in parallel with the number of illegal immigrants flooding into the country during President Joe Biden's first 100 days in office.
The Biden Administration has spent hundreds of millions of dollars for meals, medical care, legal services, and temporary facilities for those illegally entering the southern border, a review of government contract information by Just the News shows.
The contracts reviewed were awarded by the Departments of Homeland Security and Health and Human Services beginning on Jan. 20, and many are just initial awards as some of the contracts indicate they could reach higher amounts.
Some of the contracts also have notations that they could be extended until 2022.
The border-crisis contracts potentially extending through next year coincide with Vice President Kamala Harris's comments to CNN on Sunday when she told the network: "[I]t's not going to be solved overnight. This is a complex issue. Listen, if this were easy, it would have been handled years ago."
Providing care for adults, family units and unaccompanied alien children in record numbers is complex, and the amount of taxpayer funds being spent is soaring. One contract to provide an emergency intake site and care services for unaccompanied alien children, for example, was awarded for $268.8 million — and under its terms, costs could potentially rise to $579.5 million and run through March 2022.
An additional emergency intake site in Houston cost $5.3 million, and that could potentially reach $15.4 million.
With the continuing surge of unaccompanied minors at the border driving up costs, some contract values have risen by multiples in just weeks. One contract which was initially for $4 million in March for the "emergency mobilization for unaccompanied alien children youth care services" rose to $29.5 million in April.
Unaccompanied children are also getting legal representation, and U.S. taxpayers are spending tens of millions of dollars for these services.
The Vera Institute of Justice, which in the past has advocated for the end to mass incarceration and racial disparities, is now focused on immigration. VIJ was awarded the contract to "provide immigration related legal services to unaccompanied children referred to the Administration of Children and Families Office of Refugee Resettlement."
In addition, Washington-D.C. Based, Kind, Inc. was awarded $11.5 million to provide legal services to UACs.
Providing meals has also been costly, with the administration spending at least $7.5 million a day feeding illegal immigrants since Biden took office, according to three contracts reviewed. The contracts totaled approximately $750 million for meals for detainees, including in El Paso and Rio Grande. One contract just read, "detainee meals call order from the southwest border."
The contract for El Paso notes it is for the "purchase/delivery of packaged ready-to-eat meals (tender age children) supporting detainee operations at U.S. Border Patrol, El Paso Sector, Central Processing Center."
Health care costs at the border are also rising. One contract for $10.3 million was awarded to Rady Children's Hospital in San Diego for "emergency contractor medical and public health services."
Two additional contracts for $36 million and $6.6 million were awarded to San Antonio-based Ingenesis Inc., an employment agency hired to "obtain emergency contractor medical and public health services to support the office of refugee resettlement," according to the contract.
HHS also awarded a $65 million contract to San Diego-based SBCS for services for an "office of refugee resettlement."
In a press release describing the contract, SBCS indicated they would be providing social services to unaccompanied children at the San Diego Convention Center, including education, religious services and family reunification mostly for girls ages 13 to 17.
Two additional contracts for $29.5 million and $26.5 million were awarded for the "emergency mobilization for unaccompanied alien children youth care services."
Government contracts also show that 20 care workers in Addison, Texas to supervise UACs were hired for $757,000, and a $775K call center was created to assist federal employees. That contract shows the call center cost could potentially reach $14.9 million and be in place through April 2022.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection reported they encountered more than 172,000 people attempting to enter along the southwest border last month, a 71% increase over February 2021. They also reported a significant increase of unaccompanied children from Central America — 18,890 in March, a 100% increase over February.
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