According to a report by an inspector general who criticized the department for failing to monitor how the money was spent, Homeland Security squandered money on its program paying local nonprofits to welcome illegal immigrants and im release country.
The inspector general said more than 50% of the funds under investigation may have been improperly spent.
Known as the Emergency Food and Shelter Program humanitarian assistance, the money will be paid to nonprofits to conduct COVID testing, provide bus or plane tickets for migrants to get from the border to destinations in the United States, and provide them with housing and other support needs as they arrive.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency directs the program and leads a national board of nonprofits, with United Way acting as muscle. The board distributes money to local non-profit organizations.
The program has grown under the Biden administration amid border collapse and the record number of migrants being caught and released to the United States
The board is hiding its activities, with the United Way referring questions about program spending back to Homeland Security.
The Washington Times filed a Freedom of Information Act request with FEMA last September for details on the spending, but has yet to receive data.
The inspector general for homeland security examined a portion of the program’s $110 million spending in 2021 and found that local nonprofits often used the money for purposes beyond their intended purposes.
In nearly a quarter of the cases tested, investigators said the people receiving services weren’t even eligible. Most of them were migrants who successfully sneaked in and eluded border police agents, so they never went through the catch-and-release process. Others were caught and released years ago, but still turned up to serve newcomers.
Investigators also found instances where the local nonprofits spent money without documenting who they spent it on.
The audit released Wednesday says the program is vulnerable to “abuse or fraud.”
“These issues arose because, while FEMA and the National Council developed the detailed funding and application guidelines for the humanitarian assistance funds, they did not provide sufficient oversight to enforce the guidelines to ensure funds were used as intended,” the inspector general concluded.
The audit examined $12.9 million spent in Arizona, California, New Mexico and Texas. It claimed $7.4 billion – or 58% – as either unsupported or mis-spent
The auditors said FEMA should review that money and “fix” any problems.
FEMA said in its response it believes the money was spent “consistently” with the program’s goals.
The agency agreed to update its funding application form to ask local nonprofits to ensure they only spend money on intended migrants.
FEMA said it hopes to have this done by the end of June.
Source : www.washingtontimes.com