Joe Biden as a candidate for President of the United States basically issued an open invitation to anyone seeking to enter the U.S. via crossing the U.S. / Mexico border. The message was clear - despite the denials of the Administration - "we are reversing the policies of the orange man who was bad, and unaccompanied minors will be allowed in no matter what." This campaign promise made to people who are not American citizens led to the current disaster that we have been watching unfold even as Biden and company have done their best to keep it out of sight.
From the beginning, the Biden administration has refused to acknowledge the extent of the record-setting levels of illegal migration into the states. (Simply referring to it as "a challenge.") Conservative news outlets were quick to call this a "crisis." Many called out the legacy media who seemed ready to give Biden a pass on the same issue they attempted to use to brand Donald Trump as a heartless racist who was personally pulling children from the arms of mothers. Now the question has become, was this part of a plan to funnel taxpayer dollars to associates of Joe Biden.
There are many folks who believe the border debacle was intentional for a multitude of reasons ranging from virtue signaling, to far left appeasement, to distraction from efforts to pass bills like HR-1 into law, to good old fashion Cloward & Piven style attacks on our Republic. But until now, there did not seem to be a direct way to transfer tax dollars into the pockets of anyone in the Administration or their associates.
Since the border crisis became a major news story that even the legacy media could no longer ignore, Joe Biden has been desperate to find facilities to house migrant families and unaccompanied minors. One of the stopgap measures made by the Administration came in the form of an 87-million-dollar contract to house migrant families in hotels. While not an ideal solution, it might seem to be a humane effort to alleviate the horrific conditions in which many of these illegal migrants are currently being held. It might, that is, until you look a little deeper and start connecting a few dots. Let us connect a few dots and see what questions might pop up.
Let us begin with Endeavors - formally Family Endeavors - a non-profit organization that (in their words) provides programs and services towards community, disaster relief, employment, housing, mental health, and veteran family services in the United States. Endeavors is the organization that received the above-mentioned 87-million-dollar contract to place migrant families in hotels. Finding places to house people in need falls into their wheelhouse so, move along, nothing to see here. Right? The first red flag is that the 87-million-dollar contract was awarded as a "no-bid" contract. That is not standard governmental action for this kind of contract.
Unless certain exceptions apply, an agency - like ICE, who in this case awarded the contract - must take bids and give the contract to the lowest bidder. The only exception that could be legally allowed for this type of contract would be in the case of an emergency, like disaster relief. ICE would have to provide a "Justification and Approval" document explaining why it did not open the contract to bids. Not doing so would typically result in disciplinary action against the ICE officials who signed the deal, and the contract would be canceled. ICE cited "unusual and compelling urgency" as its reason. This justification led Nick Arama at Red State to ask if Biden and his people are claiming it isn't a crisis at the border, how can it be an emergency to fit this exception? An excellent question.
If the justification from ICE is less than convincing, then what other reason might there be for awarding a no-bid contract to Endeavors? The answer may be as simple as Andrew Lorenzen-Strait. On Jan. 20, Inauguration Day, Lorenzen-Strait was named senior director for migrant services and federal affairs for Endeavors, meaning that he would be the organization's liaison to the federal government. Then, less than two months later, Lorenzen-Strait had gotten them the contract.
Why does that matter, you may ask. Before accepting the position with Endeavors, Lorenzen-Strait held a significant position on the Biden-Harris transition team – he was on the DHS policy team. He vetted political appointees for the Department of Health and Human Services, which oversees the care of unaccompanied migrant children while in government custody. Beyond this direct connection to Joe and Kamala, he had previously worked for the federal government as an official with ICE.
During his time there, his immediate boss was Tae Johnson, who is currently the acting director of ICE and would have had the final say on the 87-million-dollar contract in question. Claire Trickler-McNulty, another ICE official, was given full authority over acquisitions and contracts (a little unusual given that Trickler-McNulty works outside the office). Trickler-McNulty had also worked for Lorenzen-Strait before he left ICE in 2019. And, just in case you need another layer of Deep State Swampiness, Endeavors’ chief operating officer is Chip Fulgrum, the former chief financial officer at the DHS.
There is one other bit of information I would like to offer for your consideration. Endeavors had had contracts with several other federal agencies, including the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the Federal Acquisition Service. But none of them comes close to the size of this one. Most of these contracts were valued at less than $1 million. However, there was one that was valued at $1.4 million.
If you have ever been in a business that provides services and relies upon contracts, then you know that $87 million is a giant leap from $1.4 million. You would typically have to have proven your organization's ability to handle a contract of that size. This certainly has the appearance of preferential treatment that is a clear violation of both departmental policies as well as federal law. It is certainly worth taking a closer look.