Democrats demand answers from migrant children’s shelter company that hired John Kelly

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Two Democratic lawmakers want the company operating the country’s largest shelter for migrant children to explain why it hired former Trump White House chief of staff John Kelly to serve on its board of directors.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (Mass.) and Rep. Pramila Jayapal (Wash.) sent a letter Thursday to the CEO of Caliburn International asking questions ranging from Kelly’s compensation to company revenue from operating shelters for unaccompanied migrant children.

{mosads}Caliburn International is the parent company of Comprehensive Health Services, which runs the Homestead shelter in Florida and three facilities in Texas.

The lawmakers cited reports that indicate that Comprehensive Health Services could receive more than $340 million in federal contract payments in just six months to operate the Homestead site, which is expanding to hold 3,200 beds for unaccompanied children.

“General Kelly … was at the center of the inhumane and poorly planned immigration policies that put children in cages while separating thousands of families and that benefitted your company,” Warren, a 2020 presidential candidate, and Jayapal wrote.

“General Kelly’s role in promoting and helping execute these cruel immigration policies remains a stain on his decades of public service. It is outrageous that he now appears to be cashing in on those same policies,” they added.

The lawmakers gave the company until June 20 to respond. Caliburn did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Hill.

While serving as White House chief of staff, Kelly defended the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” policy that led to the separation of thousands of migrant children from their families while the adults were prosecuted for illegally crossing the border. President Trump ended the controversial policy last year.

Prior to joining the White House in January 2017, Kelly served on the board of the investment firm DC Capital Partners, which purchased Comprehensive Health Services in 2018 and combined it with three other companies to form Caliburn.

The Caliburn board includes former high-ranking military personnel among its members, such as retired Adm. James Stavridis, Gen. Anthony Zinni and Rear Adm. Kathleen Martin.

Warren and Jayapal noted that Caliburn’s compensation policy for board members suggests Kelly stands to make at least “an annual cash retainer of $100,000” in his new role.

“General Kelly’s decision to serve in this capacity raises serious questions about ethics and conflicts of interest given the significant role he played in implementing the policies that are enriching your company,” the lawmakers wrote.

Last month, Warren wrote to Kelly and called on him to resign the Caliburn board immediately.

Tags Caliburn International Comprehensive Health Services Inc. DC Capital Partners Donald Trump Elizabeth Warren Florida Immigration John Kelly Mexico Migrant children Pramila Jayapal shelters Texas
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