McKinsey, the firm’s presentations show, pursued “detention savings opportunities” in blunt ways. The consultants encouraged ICE to adopt a “longer-term strategy” with “operational decisions to fill low-cost beds before expensive beds.” In practice, that meant shunting detainees to less expensive — and sometimes less safe — facilities, often rural county jails.
McKinsey’s team 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 — actions 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.
But the consulting firm’s sway at ICE grew to the point that McKinsey’s staff even ghostwrote a government contracting document that defined the consulting team’s own responsibilities and justified the firm’s retention, a contract extension worth $2.2 million. “Can they do that?” an ICE official wrote to a contracting officer in May 2017.
Read the full article in the New York Times here....