Contact: Ben Voelkel
WASHINGTON — On Wednesday, U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) sent letters to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) inquiring into the Biden administration awarding two no-bid contracts for handling migrants to Family Endeavors, an organization whose senior director has ties to top Biden officials. The contracts are worth more than $600 million and Senator Johnson has ordered HHS and ICE to turn over all communications between their employees and the representatives of Family Endeavors. Senator Johnson, the ranking member of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs’ Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, gave the government until April 28 to provide the internal documents.
A piece from The Washington Examiner can be found here and excerpts are below.
Johnson asked ICE for materials “that support the claim that unusual and compelling urgency” led to the ICE deal, as well as reasoning for why it did not solicit bids on the HHS contract.
“The required justification and approval document for this contract notes that ‘Family Endeavors, Inc. is the only known source that is presently capably of meeting the Government’s urgent requirement[s]’ on this matter. Please explain how ICE made this determination,” Johnson wrote.
Lorenzen-Strait worked at ICE from 2008 through May 2019, where his last responsibility was overseeing the 45,000-person capacity detention facilities. His immediate boss at the time was Tae Johnson, who has since been promoted to become the acting director of ICE and would have the final say on the $87 million contract.