Judicial Watch Sues DHS for Records Relating to January 2014 Solicitation of ‘Escort Services’ for ‘Unaccompanied Alien Children’
OCTOBER 22, 2014
In January, ICE sent out a request for a contractor to “provide unarmed escort staff … for on-demand escort services for … unaccompanied alien children … There will be approximately 65,000 UAC in total …”(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch announced today that on October 16, 2014, it filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) seeking “any and all records” relating to a January 2014 Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) request for a contractor to provide “on-demand escort services” for 65,000 unaccompanied alien children. The ICE request preceded the mid-2014 barrage of illegal immigrant minors and adults entering the U.S. through Mexico by nearly six months. The Judicial Watch lawsuit was filed in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of Homeland Security (No.1:14-cv-01730)).
The lawsuit, filed after DHS failed to respond to a July 8, 2014, FOIA request, seeks:
Any and all records regarding, concerning, or related to the Request of Information (RFI)/Sources Sought solicitation seeking “escort services for unaccompanied alien children” issued on January 29, 2014. For purposes of clarification, this solicitation is identified by Solicitation Number BERKS-RFI and is viewable on the FedBizOps.gov web site as of the date of this request.
The request includes, but is not limited to, any and all records, reports, analyses, or other documents utilized by ICE personnel to project the arrival of 65,000 unaccompanied alien children, as well as any records of communication between any official or employee of ICE and any other individual or entity regarding, concerning, or related to the aforementioned solicitation.On January 29, 2014, ICE posted “Request for Information (RFI)/Sources Sought: Escort Services for Unaccompanied Alien Children” seeking a contractor to provide the following services:
The Contractor shall provide unarmed escort staff, including management, supervision, manpower, training, certifications, licenses, drug testing, equipment, and supplies necessary to provide on-demand escort services for non-criminal/non-delinquent unaccompanied alien children ages infant to 17 years of age, seven (7) days a week, 365 days a year. Transport will be required for either category of UAC or individual juveniles, to include both male and female juveniles. There will be approximately 65,000 UAC in total: 25% local ground transport, 25% via ICE charter and 50% via commercial air. Escort services include, but are not limited to, assisting with: transferring physical custody of UAC from DHS to Health and Human Services (HHS) care via ground or air methods of transportation (charter or commercial carrier), property inventory, providing juveniles with meals, drafting reports, generating transport documents, maintaining/stocking daily supplies, providing and issuing clothing as needed, coordinating with DHS and HHS staff, travel coordination, limited stationary guard services to accommodate for trip disruptions due to inclement weather, faulty equipment, or other exigent circumstances.It was not until June 2014 – some six months after the ICE RFI – that the U.S. news media began reporting what the New York Post described as a “‘Katrina’ of illegal immigrants flooding into border states daily.” On July 3, 2014, the New York Times reported that “240,000 migrants and 52,000 unaccompanied minors … crossed the border illegally in recent months.”
As is the pattern, when the federal government suggests amnesty, an increase in illegal immigration follows. Obama officials have recently admitted that a new surge of immigrants is on its way. The Washington Examiner reports that the numbers of illegal alien minors may approach 130,000 this year, far exceeding prior worst case estimates of 90,000:
As President Obama readies a post-election immigration plan expected to clear a path for citizenship for millions of illegals, his immigration czar on Tuesday said that the border is bracing for another surge of undocumented children, raising this year’s wave across the southern border to some 130,000.
Leon Rodriguez, the new director of U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services, said that the federal government is already working to “prepare for another potential surge” across the border.“The American people deserve to know how the Obama Department of Homeland Security knew six months ahead of time that the U.S. was going to suddenly be invaded by 65,000 unaccompanied illegal alien ‘minors’,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “The breakdown on the border was encouraged by Obama’s nullifying our nation’s immigration laws. Now, the administration’s illegal secrecy over its plans for the border crisis confirms the suspicion that the Obama administration not only foresaw the crisis – but hoped for and encouraged the mass invasion. Public health, safety, national security, transparency, and the rule of law are all afterthoughts in this administration’s reckless abandonment of border security and immigration enforcement.”
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