Report: Illegal migrants placed in U.S. hotels while homeless Americans are booted out of shelter

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WASHINGTON, DC – The Biden administration has put a new spin on the Spanish phrase “mi casa es su casa” (my house is your house) by converting hotels into “casas” or homes for illegal migrants, all on the American taxpayer’s dime.

Earlier this year, it was notable that under the Biden administration the National Guard was forced to sleep in a Washington, D.C. parking garage during freezing winter temperatures.

More recently, homeless citizens were allegedly booted out of a shelter so illegal migrants, many infected with coronavirus, could move in.

Immigrants will be moved into several hotels located near the borders in Texas and Arizona, with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) reportedly paying up to $99 per night for rooms.

The latest decision to secure hotel rooms comes as the Biden administration is seeing the biggest surge of illegal migrants at the border in decades, with a potential two million migrants coming to the U.S.-Mexico border this year, The Washington Post reported.

The cost? $86 million is the current estimate.

The surge is putting a heavy strain on government resources and border towns, causing Biden to revert to the Trump administration’s use of hotels to house migrants.

The Trump administration used hotels to hold illegal migrants before expelling them and to prevent the coronavirus from spreading further in the U.S.

The border directive, which was adopted in March of 2020, was supposed to block the flow of most nonessential travel across the northern and southern borders.

The Trump administration also tested migrant children to confirm that they had not contracted the coronavirus before expelling them, according to ProPublica.

The Biden administration was criticized last month by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and others for knowingly releasing illegal migrants who had the coronavirus into the U.S.

According to a recent report by Washington Examiner, seven hotels are being converted into homes for migrant families:

“Immigration and Customs Enforcement is taking over seven hotels near the southern border starting Friday as the federal agency begins placing migrant families released from Border Patrol custody into the hotels.

“Hundreds of people who illegally came over the U.S.-Mexico border with a family member will be placed in hotels in El Paso, Texas, and Chandler, Arizona, this Friday as the Biden administration spends tens of millions of dollars to house people despite having its own holding centers, according to internal documents reviewed by the Washington Examiner.

“ICE has not revealed whether the families will be sent back to their home countries or released into the United States.”

ICE has dubbed each hotel that is housing migrants as a “casa.” Phase one of the initiative begins this Friday where ICE will shuffle 600 people into hotels in Texas and Arizona.

Phase two will begin April 30, and 600 beds will be made available at additional hotels in other locations in Texas and Arizona, according to Washington Examiner’s report.

All the hotels, which have familiar brand names, have been unofficially renamed by ICE, presumably to sound more appealing and homey.

Some hotels have amenities such as in-room kitchens and large pools.

Here are the seven hotels that Washington Examiner reported are being converted:

  • One Best Western hotel was renamed by ICE as “Casa Estrella” or Star House, and 186 beds will be available for illegal immigrants. The hotel is near a Starbucks coffee shop and a couple of miles away from El Paso International Airport.

  • Comfort Inn, renamed by ICE as “Casa Consuelo” or House of Consolation, will have 158 beds for immigrants.
  • “La Casa de la Luz,” or House of Light, for the Holiday Inn will accept more than 200 people starting Friday. It is located 15 miles southeast of Phoenix in Chandler and has a large pool.
  • Starting April 30, 107 beds will be available for families brought to the WoodSpring Suites in Pecos, Texas. “La Casa de La Paz,” or House of Peace, has in-room kitchens and living rooms rather than just bedrooms. Roll-out beds and cots are also being factored in the available beds at each hotel, according to Washington Examiner.
  • The Hilton brand’s Hampton Inn, “Casa Esperanza” or House of Hope, and Wyndham’s Microtel, “Casa de Compasión” or House of Compassion, in Cotulla will hold approximately 338 people combined.
  • Phoenix’s Sure Stay Best Western motel rooms will hold 142 people as the “Casa de Alegria” or House of Joy. It is located close to the city’s airport.

After three months, the Biden administration seems to be realizing the full scope of the growing crisis at the border during a pandemic. Yet, neither President Joe Biden nor Vice President Kamala Harris has visited the border to see the myriad of problems there for themselves.

Last month, ICE signed an $87 million contract to acquire and oversee an operation involving 1,200 hotel beds to house migrant families in Arizona and Texas, according to a separate report by Washington Examiner.

The contract was given to the nonprofit organization Family Endeavors, based out of San Antonio, Texas, which has no previous history as an ICE contractor, according to the report.

However, 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 Washington Examiner reported.

The organization announced Lorenzen-Strait’s appointment as Senior Director for Migrant Services and Federal Affairs in January.

The newspaper further reported:

“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.”

Before Lorenzen-Strait joined Family Endeavors, he served on the Biden-Harris transition team working on the DHS policy team, where he vetted political appointees for the Department of Health and Human Services, which oversees the care that unaccompanied migrant children are provided while in government custody, according to the report.

When Washington Examiner contacted ICE about why the contract was not offered through a competitive process, the agency responded that the reason was due to “unusual and compelling urgency.”

Last August, The New York Times suggested that housing immigrants in hotels actually encouraged a surge of migrants:

“Government data obtained by The New York Times, along with court documents, show that hotel detentions overseen by a private security company have ballooned in recent months under an aggressive border closure policy related to the coronavirus pandemic.

“More than 100,000 migrants, including children and families, have been summarily expelled from the country under the measure.

“But rather than deterring additional migration, the policy appears to have caused border crossings to surge, in part because it eliminates some of the legal consequences for repeat attempts at illegal crossings.”

Before the pandemic hit, the private corporation, MVM Inc., was the primary company used to transport migrant families encountered at the border to family detention centers and hotels under the Trump administration, according to The New York Times.

The newspaper noted that MVM did not have much experience detaining migrant children and contacted Lorenzen-Strait, who was noted as “another former deputy assistant director for custody management at Immigration and Customs Enforcement, who worked with MVM during his time at the agency.”

Lorenzen-Strait told The New York Times:

“A transportation vendor should not be in charge of changing the diaper of a 1-year old, giving bottles to babies or dealing with the traumatic effects they might be dealing with.

“I’m worried kids may be exposed to abuse, neglect, including sexual abuse, and we will have no idea.”

Fast forward a few months, Lorenzen-Strait is appointed the Senior Director for Migrant Services and Federal Affairs of Family Endeavors, which secures a contract without any competition and also has no previous history as an ICE contractor.

 

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