AFL FOIAS ICE, HHS Demanding Answers About Why Two “No-Bid” Contracts Worth Hundreds Of Millions Were Awarded To One Non-Profit With Ties To Obama, Biden

Wednesday, August 4, 2021

Washington, D.C. — Yesterday, America First Legal filed Freedom of Information Act Requests with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families (“HHS-ACF”) requesting all communications and records relating to why a non-profit with ties to the Obama and Biden administrations — Family Endeavors, Inc. — received two no-bid contracts worth hundreds of millions.

Background: 

On January 20, 2021—Inauguration Day—Family Endeavors Inc. (“Endeavors”), a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit from San Antonio, Texas, issued a press release announcing the appointment of Andrew Lorenzen-Strait as the Senior Director for Migrant Services & Federal Affairs. In that press release, Endeavors announced that  Lorenzen-Strait “will lead a nation-wide team of dedicated professionals providing critical social services to migrants, including unaccompanied children, single adults and families.” It also said that Lorenzen-Strait would lead Endeavor’s government affairs program in Washington, D.C.

Lorenzen-Straight served for a brief period as the “Director of Children and Family Services at Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service.” Prior to that, he served at U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement; including as the Deputy Assistant Director for Custody Management, and previously as the ICE Public Advocate, a position that Congress specifically defunded after its creation during the Obama Administration.

And perhaps most notably, news outlets have reported that Mr. Lorenzen-Strait served as an advisor on the Biden Transition Team where he worked on issues related to homeland security and immigration, presumably immediately prior to his official appointment at Endeavors.

Roughly two months after Mr. Lorenzen-Strait’s appointment at Endeavors and his  service on President Joe Biden’s Transition Team, the federal government awarded two no-bid contracts worth hundreds of millions of dollars to Endeavors. The first was reportedly a no-bid contract from Health and Human Services in the amount of $600 million and the second was from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in the  amount of $86.95 million.

America First Legal will get to the bottom of why these no-bid contracts were awarded in what appears to be a partisan basis.

Statement from America First Legal President Stephen Miller:

“America First Legal is committed to fighting for honest government and against any form of public corruption. This FOIA request is essential to learning the full, unvarnished truth about these contracts,” Stephen Miller said.

Read the full FOIA request at ICE here.

Read the full FOIA request at HHS-ACF here.

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