As harrowing reports from the shelters where young migrants are being held away from their parents came to light, the Trump administration received massive backlash — while businesses participating in the family separation process conveniently remained behind the scenes.
However, just recently, the intense scrutiny on President Donald Trump’s notorious immigration policy shifted to the companies who have received millions of dollars in lucrative federal contracts to operate detention facilities.
According to Yahoo News, publicly available data posted on website GovTribe.com, revealed 10 different contracts — totaling approximately $92 million — were awarded to five companies who are essentially responsible for housing immigrant children in questionable shelters.
The contracts with the vendors reportedly started in September 2017 and included plans to operate the shelters through September 2022.
According to GovTribe, a Florida-based company, Comprehensive Health Services Inc. (CHSI) which brags about experience with “immigrant shelter services” received the bulk of the contracts. The worth of these agreements went up to $65 million.
Just last year, CHSI was granted a contract worth $30.9 million to operate an “emergency shelter” in Homestead, Florida, with “500 UAC beds,” an acronym referring to “unaccompanied alien children.”
Another private firm which have made millions off Trump’s child separation policy was Dynamic Service Solutions, a Maryland firm, which received a contract worth up to $8.7 million from the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) through the “shelter care for unaccompanied children” vehicle in September 2017.
The next-in-line raking dollars from the government was a big nonprofit, Southwest Key Programs which is based in Austin, Texas. It was awarded two contracts through the vehicle in September 2017 worth up to $1.8 million each for “emergency shelter operations,” Yahoo News reported.
The Southwest Key has been running shelters for around two decades and has managed to stay away from any sort of bad publicity — until now.
Amid the alarming reports from the detention centers, Sen. Jeff Merkley tried to get a first-hand account of the conditions when he arrived at a facility in Brownsville, Texas which was managed by the nonprofit in question.
The fact the Southwest Key now has 26 shelters in Texas, Arizona and California which houses about half of the total population in the custody of HHS and its federal contracts now tally more than $400 million annually, have made it difficult to assess whether the nonprofit actually cares for the kids or is it just a complicit in government’s draconian plans.
A fourth company, Dynamic Educational Systems, a subsidiary of the Arizona firm Exodyne, garnered up to $5.6 million for “emergency shelter operations.”
The fifth business Yahoo reported was Virginia-based MVM, which was awarded two contracts worth up to $9.5 million in September 2017 for “shelter operations” and for unspecified “emergency and other relief services.”
The Trump administration’s notorious “zero tolerance” policy is apparently turning out to be pretty beneficial for businesses who are raking in millions of dollars from child detention center funding.
Though the commander-in-chief apparently yielded to widespread public revulsion when he backed down on his widely-resented family separation policy, it still remains uncertain whether the government will reunite families anytime soon.
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