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Amid Border Deaths, U.S. Official Complains About Medical Agency

A senior U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) official filed a whistleblower complaint alleging that his supervisors failed to monitor the agency's medical service contract adequately before the May death of an 8-year-old girl in U.S. custody, the Washington Post reports. Attorneys for Troy Hendrickson, the whistleblower and a 15-year CBP veteran, told Congress in a letter that their client was reassigned by supervisors after raising concerns about the track record of medical contractor Loyal Source Government Services. The company is a finalist for a new five-year, $1.5 billion CBP contract. Hendrickson’s concerns about Loyal Source included what he described as 40 percent staffing deficits, employees working without proper clearances and licenses, and billing errors resulting in overpayments of millions of dollars, among other issues.

The nonpartisan Government Accountability Project, which defenses whistleblowers, sent a letter to Senate leaders in response to the whistleblower's concerns, urging lawmakers to to conduct oversight of Loyal Source and the CBP contracting office and to take steps to strengthen protections for other CBP or Loyal Source whistleblowers who risk losing their jobs by coming forward. Meanwhile, at the southern border, 149 migrants died in Border Patrol’s El Paso Sector in the 12 months through Sept. 30, soaring from six migrant deaths recorded six years ago, according to Border Patrol records, the El Paso Times reports. The sector includes all of New Mexico. The fatalities don't include the more than 70 migrants who died across the border in Juárez.


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