Immigration

Firm that runs Homestead detention center is looking to hire 250 workers for Texas sites

Caliburn — the company contracted by the federal government to run the Homestead detention center for migrant children — is looking to hire hundreds more employees, this time in Texas.

As many as 250 job postings for various different positions say ideal candidates would have at least “one year of specific emergency influx shelter experience.”

The jobs that are up for grabs include senior positions like “program director” and “site leads” as well as entry-level jobs like “youth care workers” in at least three different facilities: “Casa Norma Linda” in Los Fresnos, “Trail House” in El Paso and “Loma Alta” in Brownsville.

All job descriptions say duties will include supervising kids between 13 and 17; others specify they will be part of family reunification processes.

”The Site Lead is responsible for the oversight and operational performance of a department of an on-site children’s residential facility,” the El Paso posting said in the description.

Also up for hire are PSA (Prevention of Sexual Abuse) compliance managers, cooks, teachers, housekeepers, case managers, government contract and procurement staffers, travel chaperones and clinical counselors.

”The case manager is responsible for coordinating case management and family reunification services for children in an on-site children’s residential facility,” one posting said, noting that the job would entail initiating and maintaining “direct contact with each child and the child’s family while the child is in ORR care in order to advance the child’s family reunification and release the child from the facility.”

The case manager is also responsible for identifying “potential family members or other sponsors for reunification.”

Caliburn confirmed Friday that the company is running the three Texas sites but said it would call the Herald back with more specific information at a later time.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services declined to comment on where the facilities are located and what the terms of the agreement are.

As of Friday, the government’s procurement website, USASpending.gov, does not have any contracts listed for Caliburn, or its subsidiary, Comprehensive Health Services, in Texas.

The surfacing of job opportunities for new centers to house unaccompanied migrant children comes as populations at the Homestead detention center rapidly decline. A facility that once held as many as 3,000 children now has about 800 after HHS decided to stop sending children to Homestead in early July.

Despite the plummeting numbers of children arriving at the border in recent weeks, and the dwindling numbers at Homestead, officials won’t say if it plans on shutting it down soon because the situation at the border can be “unpredictable.”

“It is premature to speculate about putting the shelter into ‘warm status,’“ an HHS spokesman told the Miami Herald last week.

During a congressional oversight hearing this week, HHS Director Jonathan Hayes said the agency’s goal is to ultimately close down ‘influx’ shelters — like Homestead — and instead open up permanent ones.

It is unclear what type of facilities Caliburn will run in Texas. As of July 18, there are approximately 11,000 children at detention centers for unaccompanied minors nationwide, according to HHS.

As of now, Caliburn is the only company running for-profit detention centers for migrant children.

In April, the Miami Herald revealed the company got a no-bid contract and that Gen. John Kelly, President Donald Trump’s former chief-of-staff, joined Caliburn’s board of advisers .

Monique O. Madan covers immigration and enterprise; she previously covered breaking news and local government. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Boston Globe, The Boston Herald and The Dallas Morning News. She is currently a Reveal Fellow at the Center for Investigative Reporting. She graduated from Miami Dade College and Emerson College in Boston. A note to tipsters: If you want to send Monique confidential information, her email and mailbox are open. The address is 3511 NW 91st Ave, Doral, FL 33172. You can also direct message her on social media and she’ll provide encrypted Signal details.
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