Immigrant children walk outside the Homestead Temporary Shelter for Unaccompanied Children in Florida.

Immigrant children walk outside the Homestead Temporary Shelter for Unaccompanied Children in Florida. Brynn Anderson / AP

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ICE Downplays Consultancy’s Cancellation of Contract Over Moral Concerns

McKinsey employees objected to separation of families at border.

In more fallout from President Trump’s toughened border policy, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement bureau learned this week that the McKinsey & Co. consulting firm has discontinued one of its management contracts.

As reported Monday by The New York Times, employees at the global firm had raised moral concerns when the existence of a contract assisting ICE’s Enforcement and Removal Operations division was reported last month.

Managing partner Kevin Sneader said in an email to former employees that the company “will not, under any circumstances, engage in any work, anywhere in the world, that advances or assists policies that are at odds with our values.”

The contract did not directly involve the Trump administration’s now softened “zero tolerance” policy that separated migrant children from parents, but was characterized as an award for “management consulting services” for Enforcement and Removal Operations.

Asked for comment by Government Executive, an ICE official on Tuesday said the agency’s contract with McKinsey “is set to expire this week as the previously arranged end of the agreed-upon term of the contract. The work required has been completed and ICE has already determined that this contract will not be re-competed. There are no option years remaining on the contract. Neither party has changed the terms nor shortened the contract.”

McKinsey’s past work for ICE totaled $20 million, the Times reported, adding that a contract was being modified as recently as June.

The end of the arrangement comes as local officials in towns from Austin, Texas; to Springfield, Ore.; to Alexandria, Va.; have cancelled contracts with ICE to provide jail space for undocumented new arrivals.