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Tue May 14, 2019, 01:31 PM

Lawmakers ask watchdog to probe migrant teen camp's contract

Source: Associated Press

Adriana Gomez Licon, Associated Press Updated 12:24 pm CDT, Tuesday, May 14, 2019

MIAMI (AP) Three Democratic lawmakers are asking a government watchdog agency to investigate how a private company tied to former White House Chief of Staff John Kelly secured a no-bid contract to hold migrant children in a Florida facility.

South Florida U.S. representatives Donna Shalala, Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Debbie Mucarsel-Powell sent a letter to the Office of Inspector General in the Department of Health and Human Services on Monday. In the document made public Tuesday, the House members ask for a probe of Kelly's role in the contract negotiations, given he was a board member of the contractor's umbrella company, Caliburn International.

"We are deeply concerned with the conditions surrounding the contracting, particularly as this for-profit company continues to financially benefit from the prolonged detention of children," the letter says. "We find it troubling that General Kelly's tenure in the administration led to a dramatic increase in both the number of children held at the Homestead facility and the duration of time that unaccompanied children are being kept in government custody."

. . .

The government manages a network of more than 160 facilities around the country for child migrants in HHS custody. The one in Homestead is the largest. About 2,200 teens are held there after crossing the border without a parent or legal guardian. But the facility could expand to hold up to 3,200 children.

Read more: https://www.chron.com/news/us/article/Lawmakers-ask-watchdog-to-probe-migrant-teen-13843983.php

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