Here’s a question. If there is no border crisis, why is Joe Biden’s Department of HHS inviting federal employees in departments having nothing to do with immigration or health to travel to the border and provide assistance?
Here’s another question: Isn’t the Biden administration inviting a misappropriation of federal funds?
And finally: What are such federal employees from random agencies supposed to do when they get to the border?
These questions were prompted by a memo from the head of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to the agency’s employees inviting them to the border to lend a hand. The memo states that HHS’s Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) “needs current Federal civilian employees for 30 to 120 day details to support [its] facilities for unaccompanied children.”
Expenses incurred in connection with the “detail” are reimbursable by ORR. However, the salaries of the employees will be paid by the agency for which they work (in this case the EEOC).
Let’s start with my first question. At a minimum, there certainly is a crisis at the border. Otherwise, this extraordinary solicitation of federal employees wouldn’t have been issued. Indeed, the solicitation suggests that the situation at the border is more like a catastrophe than just a crisis.
On to my second question. It seems to me that sending employees from agencies like the EEOC to the border amounts to a misappropriation of federal funds.
Congress appropriated money to the EEOC so this commission can conduct its statutorily authorized duty of enforcing various employment discrimination laws. It did not appropriate money for other purposes.
If EEOC employees work at refugee resettlement facilities, they will not be enforcing employment discrimination laws or furthering such enforcement in any way. When the EEOC pays the salaries of these employees, the money will be used for purposes unauthorized by Congress.
Perhaps there is some loophole in federal law that permits this. If so, I would hope that the loophole requires some sort of emergency declaration — that is, a public acknowledgement of a serious crisis.
Finally, what are employees at agencies like the EEOC expected to do at the border? Reportedly, they will be asked to act as “youth care workers and case managers, depending on Spanish language proficiency.”
I have known some fine EEOC employees. However, I’m hard pressed to imagine any of them making themselves useful at a refugee camp in a capacity other than, in some cases, competent baby sitters. Shouldn’t the government be able to find competent baby sitters without enlisting well-paid federal employees?
And again, Congress didn’t appropriate money to the EEOC so it could pay its employees to baby sit at refugee camps.