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Trump’s Former Chief of Staff Joins Board of Co. Running Shelter for Migrant Children


John Kelly, the former Secretary of Homeland Security and chief of staff to President Donald Trump, has joined the Caliburn International, LLC, board of directors. Caliburn is the parent company of Comprehensive Health Services (CHS), which operates the nation’s largest shelter for housing unaccompanied migrant children, CBS News reported.

CHS is the nation’s only private (for-profit) company contracted by the federal government to operate shelters for unaccompanied migrant children. Its headquarters are in Florida. Prior to his stint in the Trump Administration, Kelly was on the board of directors at DC Capital Partners, an investment firm which currently owns Caliburn International.

In a statement released Friday, Caliburn CEO James Van Dusen said the Caliburn board of directors “remains acutely focused on advising on the safety and welfare of unaccompanied minors who have been entrusted to our care and custody by the Department of Health and Human Services to address a very urgent need in caring for and helping to find appropriate sponsors for these unaccompanied minors.”

During his time as Trump’s chief of staff, Kelly was instrumental in developing and implementing the administration’s family separation policy. Those policies have resulted in a massive surge in number of children separated from their parents and held in these shelters.

In an interview with CNN from June 2018, Kelly said he was considering the policy “in order to deter more movement along this terribly dangerous network. I am considering exactly that. They will be well cared for as we deal with their parents.”

CHS has been a major beneficiary of the Trump Administration’s family separation policy. Last month, the company was awarded a no-bid contract to expand the Homestead shelter which could be worth over $341,000,000.

CHS’ Homestead, Fla. facility is surrounded by a tall fence and constantly monitored by a team of private security contractors. As CBS News noted, lawyers charged with monitoring compliance at shelters flagged Homestead as being one of 13 facilities sites in violation of operating rules for housing minors.

[Image via Drew Angerer/Getty Images]

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Jerry Lambe is a journalist at Law&Crime. He is a graduate of Georgetown University and New York Law School and previously worked in financial securities compliance and Civil Rights employment law.