Homeland Republicans Probe ICE Border Contracts Following Bombshell New Evidence Exposing Possible Conflict of Interest
August 11, 2023
WASHINGTON, D.C.— This week, House Committee on Homeland Security Chairman Mark E. Green, MD (R-TN), Subcommittee on Oversight, Investigations, and Accountability Chairman Dan Bishop (R-NC), and Subcommittee on Border Security and Enforcement Chairman Clay Higgins (R-LA) demanded answers from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) following an undercover video exposing former ICE employee and member of President Biden’s 2020 transition team, Andrew Lorenzen-Strait, for helping facilitate the awarding of multimillion-dollar sole-source contracts to ill-equipped non-profits and non-governmental organizations he is associated with. This letter follows continued oversight by the Committee of suspect ICE contracts for migrant services amid the ongoing crisis at the Southwest border.
The Committee requests more information detailing ICE’s contract evaluation process and communications between Mr. Lorenzen-Strait and his former subordinate at ICE, Claire Trickler-McNulty, who is now Assistant Director of the Office of Immigration Program Evaluation at the agency. The Chairmen also request communications between Ms. Trickler-McNulty and three organizations affiliated with Mr. Lorenzen-Strait.
Read more in The Washington Examiner.
In the letter, the Chairmen stated, “On January 20, 2021, Family Endeavors, Inc. (Endeavors) named Mr. Lorenzen-Strait the Senior Director for Migrant Services and Federal Affairs. Immediately preceding his position with Endeavors, Mr. Lorenzen-Strait served on the Biden-Harris transition team. He is also a former official at ICE. In March 2021, just two months after Mr. Lorenzen-Strait joined Endeavors, ICE awarded an $86.9 million sole source contract to Endeavors to provide beds and services in hotels for illegal migrants crossing the southwest border. In April 2021, the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG) began a review of ICE’s sole source contract with Endeavors.”
The Chairmen continued, “On April 12, 2022, the OIG issued a report, finding that ICE did not adequately justify the need for its sole source contract with Endeavors and spent nearly $17 million on hotel space and services that went largely unused. The OIG noted that Endeavors sent ICE a proposal for housing migrant families without ICE requesting such a proposal. The OIG also found that Endeavors ‘had no experience providing the services covered by the sole source contract’ and that ICE provided ‘no documentation to show that Endeavors had the capability to provide such services.’ The OIG’s findings raise important questions about Mr. Lorenzen-Strait’s involvement in the contract proposal.”
The Chairmen concluded, “On August 8, 2023, journalists with Project Veritas released a video of Mr. Lorenzen- Strait cavalierly bragging about his participation in government contracts related to migrant services. Specifically, Mr. Lorenzen-Strait referred to what appears to be the Endeavors contract as a ‘corrupt bargain.’ He further discussed ‘brokering’ a deal that won Cherokee Federal, a team of tribally owned federal contracting companies, a nearly $2 billion contract with the federal government to provide services to unaccompanied alien children. […] Mr. Lorenzen-Strait’s comments in the Project Veritas video are deeply disturbing. The Committee is concerned that despite clear conflicts of interest and prior scrutiny, Mr. Lorenzen- Strait may be influencing ICE’s contracts for migrant services with non-governmental and non-profit organizations. Additionally, the Committee is concerned with Mr. Lorenzen-Strait’s relationships with current ICE contracting officials. The Committee has been made aware that Mr. Lorenzen-Strait’s former subordinate at ICE, Ms. Claire Trickler-McNulty, is now the Assistant Director of the Office of Immigration Program Evaluation.”
Read the full letter here.