Over the last several weeks, the news media have exploded with reports of what President Obama has labeled an “urgent humanitarian situation” – a flood of unaccompanied children crossing the U.S. border illegally from Mexico.
A post at the FedBizOpps.gov website, however, reveals the Department of Homeland Security has been expecting and planning for this “urgent situation” since January.
The post, placed online Jan. 29, alerts private businesses that the DHS and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency, or ICE, would be seeking sources willing to serve as “escort services for unaccompanied alien children.”
According to the posted description of services sought, DHS and ICE have “a continuing and mission critical responsibility for accepting custody of Unaccompanied Alien Children (UAC) from U.S. Border Patrol and other Federal agencies and transporting these juveniles to Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) shelters located throughout the continental United States.”
The post even clarifies, “There will be approximately 65,000 UAC in total,” and explains the contractor hired may need to provide temporary shelter and showers, as bed space for the UAC may be “unavailable nationwide for extended periods of time.”
The reference to ORR shelters also raises questions as to what DHS and ICE intend to do with the UAC. Rather than working to return the illegal immigrants to their families, the ORR explains on its mission statement that it “provides new populations with opportunities to maximize their potential in the United States, linking people in need to critical resources to assist them in becoming integrated members of American society.”
The Blaze reports Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokeswoman Barbara Gonzalez confirmed the authenticity of the FedBizOpps.gov document, which further states an anticipated “phased approach” to relocating the immigrant children that could take “several months to a full year” and plans for the escort contract to last up to five years.
The description also suggests the following circumstances that “may occur”: “(1) The contractor could initially provide transportation services only in the Southwest Region of the U.S. for those juveniles who are apprehended in the state of Texas; or, (2) The Contractor may be required to provide transportation services for all juveniles who are in DHS custody throughout the continental U.S.”
News reports from Texas reveal these are exactly the circumstances that have occurred.