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Defense contractors cashing in on immigrant kids’ detention

Separating refugee and immigrant children from their parents isn’t just an emotionally wrenching policy. It’s an enterprise that is benefitting intelligence and defense contractors. Those contractors—including one with a history of scandals—have advertised a flurry of jobs in recent weeks to support the infrastructure surrounding undocumented children whom the Trump administration has taken from their families... One of them... [is] MVM Inc... Federal Contracting databases show MVM was awarded a contract worth up to $8 million over the next five years. The contract... calls for the company to provide assistance in emergency shelter operations for unaccompanied children and extends through September 2022... MVM also has contracts with Immigration and Customs Enforcement for transporting unaccompanied undocumented children around McAllen. According to a contractor database, the work has earned MVM nearly $43 million since last September.

... Joe Arabit, the director of MVM’s homeland security and public safety division, [said] "MVM, Inc.’s top priority is the welfare of children while they are in our care. We are a trusted partner of ICE... and ORR because of the respect and dedication with which we treat those whom we transport. Managing the transportation, security, and shelter needs of these children is a highly sensitive matter, and the safety of those in our care is the most important thing."... The company has been contracted with ICE for its transportation services for unaccompanied immigrant children since 2014, Arabit said, and for ORR’s “temporary shelter services for unaccompanied children since 2017.”... The defense contracting giant General Dynamics'... jobs for ORR involve policy analysis; tracking “new placements and progress of minors in ORR funded care”; supporting ORR’s director in, among other tasks, “review[ing] files and redact[ing] information as directed.”... General Dynamics was the third largest federal contractor by dollar amount, with $15 billion in government contracts in fiscal 2017. According to Gordon’s database, it’s faced $280.3 million in penalties for 23 misconduct cases since 1995... “It looks right now that the Trump administration’s policies regarding immigration is proving to be a relatively lucrative area for private contractors,” said Neil Gordon, an investigator with the Project on Government Oversight.

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