Wednesday, December 4, 2019

How McKinsey Helped the Trump Administration Detain and Deport Immigrants


Did you ever wonder where the ideas came from for the Trump administration's immigration detention policies?  ProPublica, co-published this article with The New York Times, which prvides an explanation.  Ian MacDougall authored the article explaining how consulting giant McKinsey & Company "Helped the Trump Administration Detain and Deport Immigrants. Newly uncovered documents show the consulting giant helped ICE find `detention savings opportunities' — including some that the agency’s staff viewed as too harsh on immigrants."

From the early days of the new administration, "Immigration and Customs Enforcement . . . had a partner on its payroll: McKinsey & Company, an international consulting firm brought on under the Obama administration to help engineer an `organizational transformation' in the ICE division charged with deporting migrants who are in the United States unlawfully.

ICE quickly redirected McKinsey toward helping the agency figure out how to execute the White House’s clampdown on illegal immigration.

But the money-saving recommendations the consultants came up with made some career ICE staff uncomfortable. They proposed cuts in spending on food for migrants, as well as on medical care and supervision of detainees . . . . McKinsey’s team also looked for ways to accelerate the deportation process, provoking worries among some ICE staff members that the recommendations risked short-circuiting due process protections for migrants fighting removal from the United States. The consultants, three people who worked on the project said, seemed focused solely on cutting costs and speeding up deportations — activities whose success could be measured in numbers — with little acknowledgment that these policies affected thousands of human beings.

In what one former official described as `heated meetings' with McKinsey consultants, agency staff members questioned whether saving pennies on food and medical care for detainees justified the potential human cost. . . ."

There are many layers to this story.  The U.S. government retaining McKinsey to advise on immigration matters?  The human costs of the advice?  


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