Immigration

Two More Whistleblowers Come Forward Alleging Neglect and Mismanagement at Migrant Youth Shelter

The whistleblower complaints substantiate reporting from Reason in May describing filthy conditions, untrained staff, and neglect.

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Two more federal whistleblowers came forward today saying they witnessed filthy conditions, mismanagement, and efforts to downplay the spread of COVID-19, lice, and other health issues at the country's largest tent shelter for unaccompanied migrant youths.

In a whistleblower complaint filed to Congress, Arthur Pearlstein and Lauren Reinhold, two federal employees who were detailed to the Fort Bliss emergency intake shelter between April and June, allege that organization chaos, indifference, and reliance on untrained contractors led to children being denied basic necessities like underwear and mental health counseling. 

The shelter, a series of huge tents within the Fort Bliss Army base near El Paso, Texas, is the largest in a network of emergency shelters the Biden administration set up earlier this year to move unaccompanied migrant children out of Customs and Border Protection (CBP) detention centers. In theory, these shelters are a way station for kids who are waiting to be reunited with relatives or other connections in the U.S. In fact, staffing problems and other issues left many kids stuck in limbo for up to a month or more.

Two other federal employees filed a whistleblower complaint earlier this month claiming they witnessed intolerable noise, filth, and odors inside the large tents where children are housed; contractors who were wholly unqualified to work with youths; and hostility, indifference, and resistance to providing medical treatment to sick kids.

All of the whistleblowers are represented by the Government Accountability Project, a nonprofit watchdog group that aims to protect and represent whistleblowers.

"I am speaking out in the interest of accountability and with the hope that the many avoidable failures in the program at Fort Bliss will not be repeated," Pearlstein said in a statement. "Gross mismanagement, waste, and abuse of authority by those at the top who insisted on utmost secrecy led to conditions for thousands of children at Fort Bliss that can only be described as constituting mistreatment."

The complaints further substantiate reporting by Reason from May, in which federal employees and audio recordings of staff meetings described underwear shortages, filthy living conditions, and inappropriate contact between staff and minors.

In an audio recording of a training session for Fort Bliss detailees obtained by Reason, a trainer alluded to the poor conditions inside the tents, which at the time housed up to 1,000 people, each in stacked bunk-style cots. 

"I've been into one dorm, one time, and I was like, yeah, I'm not going back there," the trainer says. "They're filthy. They're dirty. There's food on the floor. There's wet spots all over the place. The beds are dirty. I don't know what's going on or who's responsible for ensuring that the dorms need to be clean, but we all need to be responsible for telling the minors to clean up after themselves."

Of the underwear shortage, the trainer said: "Now when it comes to clothing, I do want to let you guys know we are aware there is a shortage of underwear, socks, and shoes, and management knows. We're working on getting more for minors."

Despite the promises, Pearlstein and Reinhold's complaint says that the underwear shortage "persisted for weeks and months." 

"Countless children reported these shortages to detailees," the complaint says. "Boys said they had no underwear at all, while most simply had only one pair with nothing to change into."

In the audio of the staff meeting obtained by Reason, the trainer also alluded to inappropriate contact between staff and minors. Pearlstein and Reinhold's complaint notes at least one instance of sexual harassment. The complaint says that in one instance, construction workers "lewdly and loudly gawked at girls as they walked outside to the meal tent." The detailees attempted to report the incident, but the complaint says "managers resisted taking their complaints."

The previous complaints and audio recordings also described several instances of medical neglect, such as contractors refusing to take obviously sick children to get medical care.

Pearlstein and Reinhold's complaint says Pearlstein witnessed one instance where "a clinician's primary response to a boy–who had complained of feeling very depressed and sad–was to tell him that he had nothing to complain about and that, in fact, he should feel grateful for all he was being given."

The Fort Bliss shelter is staffed by a mix of contractors and federal employees detailed to the Department of Health and Human Services. At its peak, the shelter held roughly 4,500 young children and teenagers, mostly boys, in huge tents. As of late June, that number had dwindled to fewer than 800, NBC News reported.

As of Tuesday, there were 13,752 minors in the shelter system, according to the Department of Health and Human Services.

According to the complaint, the three major contractors involved in the operations at the Fort Bliss Shelter are Rapid Deployment Inc., Servpro, and Chenega, the latter of which was previously identified by Reason. None of them appear to have any experience in childcare.

According to the Government Accountability Project, the U.S. government contract for services at the Fort Bliss shelter will end up costing roughly $1 billion.

NEXT: Daniel Hale Revealed America’s Drone Assassinations to the Public. He’s Been Sentenced to 45 Months in Prison.

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49 responses to “Two More Whistleblowers Come Forward Alleging Neglect and Mismanagement at Migrant Youth Shelter

  1. Now do the number of people dumped throughout the country without covid checks and without court dates.

    1. 50k released last month with no order to appear.

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  2. I’m certain OBL will be along forthwith to debunk these awful claims, that anything bad could be happening with Biden in the White House. And even if they are as bad, or even worse, what difference at this point does it make?

    1. Does a “migrant youth center” even sound the same as “kids in cages”?

      1. Of course not; and you won’t be seeing the likes of Jennifer Lopez doing dance routines around kids in cages no matter what is going on in those “migrant youth centers.”

        Because Trump; I think that son of a bitch will continue to live rent free in their heads for the rest of their lives.

        1. Well, nature abhors a vacuum so something had to take the space.

          1. It would be hilarious if, despite being dumber than a chimp, he managed to imminent domain the real estate and charge rent.

            Ah! The evil Nazi chimp annexed my brain and is classing up the place!

  3. In the audio of the staff meeting obtained by Reason, the trainer also alluded to inappropriate contact between staff and minors. Pearlstein and Reinhold’s complaint notes at least one instance of sexual harassment. The complaint says that in one instance, construction workers “lewdly and loudly gawked at girls as they walked outside to the meal tent.” The detailees attempted to report the incident, but the complaint says “managers resisted taking their complaints.”

    You know, I’m trying to understand all this in the larger context. These immigrants, nee refugees risked their lives to travel across (possibly) multiple countries to escape the squalor of their native existence, exposing themselves to unscrupulous actors, thieves, murderers and many may have even been subject to various forms of sexual exploitation, trafficking, forced prostitution, and they arrive at the port of their choice and are subject to the horrid conditions described above (whistled at by construction workers, etc).

    What is the procedure if the detainee decides that the conditions in America are so horrid that they throw up their hands and ask to be returned to their country of origin? Or perhaps ask to be taken in by a safe third country such as Mexico (presuming the migrant/refugee isn’t from Mexico)? Are these migrants persisting in their claims to get into the United States given the conditions of their detainment? Is there any incentive whatsoever, by any group, including the detainees to perhaps exaggerate the conditions under which they’re being kept? Any incentive at all?

    1. What is the procedure if the detainee decides that the conditions in America are so horrid that they throw up their hands and ask to be returned to their country of origin? Or perhaps ask to be taken in by a safe third country such as Mexico (presuming the migrant/refugee isn’t from Mexico)?

      And even this generously assumes that the conversation goes along the lines of:
      “Send me back to my country of origin!”
      “OK, which one?”
      “The one that issued the passport that I presented at a legal port of entry.”
      “Oh, OK.”

      Also, I’ll mention it again, Reason says “Aren’t being provided basic needs, like underwear.” but, by their own reporting, they’re being provided underwear, it’s just that the government and/or contractors aren’t issuing the kids a brand new pair of underwear every day and, reading Reason’s tea leaves, may be quite reasonably issuing them two pairs and taking 1-2 days to turn the laundry around.

    2. Once ol joe gets them they aren’t going back. They will be forced to stay and vote democrat once given amnesty and the right to vote.

    3. “What is the procedure if the detainee…ask to be returned to their country of origin?”

      We had an argument about that question here a couple of years ago. Several regular posters were insisting that these people were not “detainees” because they could leave and go home any time they wanted to if they just gave up their claims for refugee or immigrant status. I asked them repeatedly for a source describing the procedure for that, and no one came through. I did some searching myself and could not find anything. It can’t be as simple as a detainee just saying “I want to go home” and being put on the bus immediately, but, there must be some kind of process for that. If anyone knows how it’s done, please chime in.

  4. If anyone knows about whistleblowers it would be Ciaramella.

  5. Thought a few months ago VP Harris had been tasked with addressing the border issues. Unless this is a feature.

    1. Harris has been asked to remain in the background until they rethink her public image.

  6. Obama did it first and Biden is the current president. Obviously this is all the work of evil totalitarian Democrats.

    1. Correct.

    2. At this point, it IS the work of evil Democrats, because they’re in charge now and they haven’t done anything to improve the conditions, despite all the wailing and gnashing of teeth about kids in cages and LITERAL concentration camps.

      So please do fuck off.

      1. Are you aware that there was an administration between the last two Democrat administrations? Well surprise! There was! And what happened when people talked about this subject during that administration? “The other guy did it first!” So thanks for confirming my point.

        1. The guy “who did it first” was not some guy who posts “first” in the comment section of a youtube video. Obama STARTED this, and he did nothing to address it, and the subservient largely ignored it.

          Trump attempted to put a stop to it. You may recall that border enforcement was one of his signature issues. The zero tolerance policy was a step too far, but he also actively engaged with Mexico to try to slow the flow of humanity.

          Trump is gone now and Biden continues Obama’s failed policies. That predictably blew up in his face, and his supposed border czar had to issue stern sounding warnings. “Do not come” she said.

          If you give illegals incentive to come, they’ll come. It’s an intuitive concept. Obama tried to write his own rules on immigration and the democrat party will push legalization for new generations of illegals for YEARS to come. Don’t push down this “pox on both houses” BS in my throat.

          1. Trump attempted to put a stop to it. You may recall that border enforcement was one of his signature issues. The zero tolerance policy was a step too far, but he also actively engaged with Mexico to try to slow the flow of humanity.

            Yeah, he wanted to make the consequences of not having papers to be so severe, as in breaking up families and treating children like animals, that people would not come because the hell-hole they were trying to escape was less-terrible than getting caught.

            I remember quite well.

            1. “Yeah, he wanted to make the consequences of not having papers to be so severe, as in breaking up families and treating children like animals, that people would not come because the hell-hole they were trying to escape was less-terrible than getting caught.”

              And D shits like Obo and Biden continue the consequences while encouraging more and more people.
              Do you post here to prove how stupid lefty assholes can be?

            2. Fuck youre pathetic. He sought to discourage bringing children through a deadly journey asshole. And you wonder why people call you a dishonest leftist.

              You’d rather hvs round girls walking through the desert raped by smugglers than telling them to apply for amnesty in their home countries.

              Youre a sick fuck.

            3. Give an example of one place that was as bad as where they are housing the children now. The left and their ally the fake news was complaining about lack of phone use and games to play, not unsanitary conditions and lice.
              The only families that were separated was when parents abandoned their children and when adults that were not related tried to use the children to get freed into the country. You were brainwashed with the fake news and pictures that turned out to be fake news and you refuse to let go of it.

        2. “Are you aware that there was an administration between the last two Democrat administrations? Well surprise! There was! And what happened when people talked about this subject during that administration? “The other guy did it first!” So thanks for confirming my point.”

          And lefty piles of shit like you whined to high heaven when Trump did so, while your silence before and after are proof of your stupidity or hypocrisy.
          Thanks for confirming my point, asshole.

        3. Yes. There was another guy in between. During that guy’s tenure, these kinds of deplorable conditionsade front page news almost daily. Democrats cared so much they made trips to border facilities and cried for photo ops. Where are they now, is my point?

          None of that changes the fact that yes, now it is the evil totalitarian Democrats’ fault, because for all their crying photo ops, they’ve done absolutely nothing to change the conditions.

          They’re no different than the anti-war left, who all but disappeared during Obama’s entire 8 years in the White House.

          1. Pelosi did refuse to appropriate funds to support the Trump administrations efforts to house the children so there is that.

        4. Amazing. Biden is in charge. Illegal immigration ramped up under him. Migrants are saying it was because of his words. Biden killed all the EOs and policiesimited the crossings.

          You blame trump.

        5. The bad orange man is gone. You can come out now.

    3. But Biden said he was Vice President under Trump.

  7. The Big Guy is in charge now. MSM doesn’t give a shit anymore.

    1. Bingo!! Their job is complete. These people are truly evil.

  8. Absolutely shameful. FFS do what needs to be done and house any migrant in a humane way. Despicable we continue to allow this to keep going.

    1. Or, prevent them from getting here.
      Perhaps some sort of wall…….

      1. Or safe third country agreement

  9. “If you didn’t want to be abused in a migrant youth shelter then you shouldn’t have been a youth!”

    1. “If you didn’t want to be abused in a migrant youth shelter then you shouldn’t have been a youth!”

      I’m sure your momma said that was clever, turd.

    2. Or, you shouldn’t have falsely claimed to be a minor.

  10. One man’s whistleblower is another man’s snitch and I’d be careful about snitching on the government. They’re big and bad, immoral and ruthless, greedy and thieving, and I’ve heard they’ve got six ways from Sunday of getting back at you if you cross them.

    1. That depends on if you have a d or an r next to your name

      1. Brandyshit/turd approves this message!

  11. Well, they paid their money for the trip – – – – – – – –

  12. I looked for a story about this in the Washington Post and couldn’t find one, so it can’t be true.

  13. denied basic necessities like underwear and mental health counseling

    “basic necessities” — OMFG!!! This world is full of butt-spoiled self-entitled morons…. Where’s my TV, Steak Dinner, Back-rub and a Hooker.

    And to see all those trespassers running so their “basic necessities” are denied? Ya Right… /s This is so idiotically stupid.

  14. No surprise that I haven’t read this anywhere else, and I go on a number of different news sites every day.

  15. Remain in Mexico was a great policy. Apply for entry in an orderly fashion and once approved come on in. These problems go away.
    Much like Ellis Island immigrants. They got checked out first, health also. If sick they were put in a hospital next to Ellis Island. If they checked and/or recovered from their illness they were allowed entry. If not back on the boat home. It worked and it protected citizens and did not deny immigration.

  16. Can we just annex most of South America already? If they’re gonna move in and we’re paying to fix the ‘root causes’ of their problems anyway, I at least want some new beaches and another rainforest out of this.

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