In a contract request posted this week at the FedBizOpps.gov website, under the misleading heading “Transportation Services,” Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), a division of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) seeks escorts for “Unaccompanied Alien Children” (UAC), as “ICE does not have authority nor responsibility to detain unaccompanied children.”
ICE is responsible, however, for “… transporting these juveniles to the Department of Health and Human Service’s Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) shelters located throughout the continental United States.”
An accompanying “Statement of Work” (SOW) reveals one of the most bizarre and disturbing job descriptions this author has ever encountered.
“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 UAC ranging from infants to 17 years of age, seven (7) days a week, 365 days a year.”
According to the document, there are currently well over 5,000 “escorts” for male and female juveniles “ranging from infants to 17 years of age.” Most of these escorts (over 3,000) are located in Harlington, Texas, according to the SOW.
Additionally, the largest percentage of children are ending up in El Paso (26%), followed by New York (15%), Chicago (8%), and Miami, Grand Rapids & Washington (5% each).
As reported at the Examiner, the SOW gives instructions for any number of potential emergencies, such as “escape attempts, hunger strikes, hostage situations, or an ‘external attack.’ ‘If attacked,’ the SOW explains, the contractor ‘…should request assistance from the nearest law enforcement agency, continuing to drive until the vehicle is incapacitated.'”
While the “Transport Specialists” (TS) are assured that they are providing “escort services for non-criminal/non-delinquent UAC,” some of the potential emergencies as outlined by the SOW warn about “criminal histories.”
“Do not handcuff juveniles during transport unless there is evidence or a perceived threat of violent behavior, a history of criminal activity, or other reasons to believe the alien is an escape risk…” the SOW explains.
“As a rule, do not handcuff family units during transport unless there is evidence or a perceived threat of violent behavior, a history of criminal activity, or reason to believe she is an escape risk.”
There is something wrong here. “As a rule, do not handcuff family units…” just does not seem to belong in any job description in America.
In the next sub-section,
“Full restraints should never be used on juveniles under the age of 14 during transport unless they are actively presenting combative behavior and there is articulable evidence that suggests violent behavior is imminent or very likely to occur, or the juvenile has a significant criminal history and/or a history of escape such that safety and security would be compromised…”
The contractors are also warned that they “shall adhere to the standards set forth in the DHS Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) regulation and the ICE/ERO Residential Standard on Sexual Abuse and Assault Prevention and Intervention (SAAPI) policy.”
It is not a stretch to think that these vulnerable children may be exposed to predators.
As reported at Liberty Unyielding, a similar January work request anticipated 65,000 “Unaccompanied Alien Children,” clearly indicating that the Obama administration was well aware of the coming wave of children.
Spencer Case of the National Review reported,
“…in fiscal year 2011, about 4,000 minors arrived unaccompanied at the southern U.S. border, a number that increased to more than 21,000 in 2013. This fiscal year has already seen that number soar to about 47,000…”