Sometimes these posts just write themselves. Let me amend that: sometimes the need for them is obvious, but there doesn’t seem to be much left to say.
The Blaze is reporting that DHS/ICE put out a federal contract solicitation in January 2014 for “escort services for unaccompanied alien children,” projecting the number in fiscal year 2014 to be about 65,000.
The following passages in the “Request for Information” (the standard method of stating the contracting requirement) are of particular interest to me. Trust me, it’s worth reading this whole paragraph, which was written in January:
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. In emergency situations, the Contractor shall be called on to provide temporary shelter locations (such as trailers) with shower facilities for juveniles who are pending placement with HHS when bed space is unavailable nationwide for extended periods of time. The Contractor shall provide temporary guard services and other support as necessary during these emergencies.
These excruciating details match the current “emergency” response to the influx of illegal minors remarkably – unnaturally – well. Then there’s this eye-catching passage, which looks awful darn particular (emphasis added):
Place of Performance:
Service Area: Throughout the Continental United States (US)
The area(s) or region(s) serviced may occur either with a phased approach over a period of several months to a full year. Alternatively, the Contractor shall perform the entire transportation function upon full funding. For example, the following two circumstances may occur: (1) The contractor could initially provide transportation services only in the Southwest Region of the U.S. for those juveniles who are apprehended in the state of Texas; or, (2) The Contractor may be required to provide transportation services for all juveniles who are in DHS custody throughout the continental U.S.
All things being equal, we’d expect illegals to cross our poorly guarded border into Arizona as much as they normally do. The special focus on Texas has a suspicious ring to it. A forensic investigator – e.g., a government intelligence analyst – would look at something like this and conclude that the soliciting agency probably had some kind of foreknowledge about the likely avenue of the expected influx. (Either that, or the agency planned to respond to the influx only in Texas, and Arizona could go hang.)
My colleague Nate quoted long-time Border Patrol agents last week asserting that the “crisis” on our southern border has been orchestrated by the U.S. government – and he’s by no means the only observer to advance that theory.
That said, we’ve been kind of missing the build-up to this crisis in plain sight. The Department of Health and Human Services let fly with the estimate of 60,000 unaccompanied alien children for 2014 back in late February, in its budget proposal. At the time, it cited dramatic increases since 2011 in the number of such children crossing the border.
But HHS professed itself unable to predict how many of the illegal minors there would be in 2015:
The [HHS Administration for Children and Families] says it cannot now predict how many unaccompanied alien children will be discovered in the U.S. in fiscal 2015, which begins on Oct. 1.
Maybe Homeland Security and ICE can. Most observers’ attention has been on them. You had to be watching HHS instead, however (as Terence Jeffrey was), to pick up on that agency’s slightly more public prediction about the flood of unaccompanied alien children.
Seldom has a government been so exceptionally well prepared for an emergency. For 2015, we’ll at least know where to look for continuing evidence of spectacular foresight in the federal agencies.