Whistleblowers Reveal Horrific Conditions On the Border

Employees who assisted in the treatment of child migrants on an Army facility in Texas claim they saw egregious disorganization and explicit threats to public health.

The Department of Health & Human Resources briefly deployed Laurie Elkin and Justin Mulaire to properly care for undocumented Mexican youngsters; the care was supposed to happen at an interim location on Fort Bliss, an Army facility south of El Paso, in mid-May.

Scores of juvenile immigrants were formerly sheltered there in big tents as a result of the Biden administration’s continued spike in undocumented immigrants. In late March, the facility began receiving youngsters.

As of late June, only about 800 people stayed.

Contract Workers Instructed Not to Comment on the Conditions They Witnessed

Elkin and Mulaire said, in a whistleblower lawsuit, filed in the week that employees noticed severe problems but were prevented from exposing them; some examples include being advised not to provide comments on their first ten days on the job.

The two attorneys from the US Equal Opportunities Commission’s Chicago County Office disregarded the cautions; they also sent alerts to the Department of Health & Human Service Office of Inspector General. However, they claim that their concerns were dismissed and that no action was made to address them.

The shelters were crowded, making it difficult or hard to observe or rescue children in pain; loudness (screaming) was at an intolerable volume. The shelters were also filthy and often had a horrible odor like a locker room.

There was also a lot of dust and dirt. When dust storms struck El Paso, the air within the shelters turned clearly murky with sediment; this got into everybody’s eyes, lungs, and ears, according to the whistleblowing workers.

Fresh linen and clothing were not supplied on a routine basis. Despite the fact that many youngsters were kept in such shelters for up to two months (or longer), it seemed that their linen was never cleaned; several mattresses were clearly filthy.

The kids also said they didn’t have enough clean socks and underwear, which made them hesitant to play or wash since they didn’t have clean underwear to dress into. It was not unusual for youngsters in the girls’ tent, for instance, to beg for clean clothes so that they might take a shower into something fresh.

Staff Were Not Provided Training

The most serious issue, according to the attorneys, was the use of employees who were unfit for the position. A few of the youngsters were put in the care of workers from Servpro, which claims to be a leader in fire, water, mildew, and other cleaning and repair services on its site.

Its repertoire does not include child care.

As per the grievance sent to congressmen and the HHS investigator general’s desk on Wednesday by the Government Accountability Project (which is going to represent the whistle-blowers), construction company employees told Ms. Elkin and Mr. Mulaire that they obtained no instruction prior to starting work; they also had very little advice as to what everyone’s position was.