Originally published November 26 2014
Federal government to spend your tax dollars on 100,000 pairs of underwear for illegal immigrants
by Jennifer Lilley
(NaturalNews) The Department of Homeland Security's Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) division has put out an invitation for bids (IFB) for a variety of underwear for young boys and girls as well as adult men and women. The invitation, which is listed on FBO.gov, a site that houses a range of federal business opportunities, provides a detailed list of specific styles and size ranges under the heading, "Undergarment Clothing." The request asks that those interested and who meet the specifications visit another site and reference a particular number.(1)
For example, line item 13, listed as "LI 013," requests "Boys Cotton Briefs full cut 100% cotton in color White, 350 packages of underwear," while LI 025 states the need for "Womens Cotton Sports Bras 65% Cotton/30% Polyester/5% Spandex No metal or Plastic Solid in same size dozens." All told, there are 30 line items, mainly detailing the need for a range of full-cut cotton briefs and underwear in a wide spectrum of youth and adult sizes.(1)
The request comes on the heels of a similar request made by DHS a few months prior in which they issued a bid for over 40,000 pairs of white 100% cotton men's briefs in sizes that raised eyebrows regarding the weight of illegal immigrants likely being detained. In that instance, sizes in nearly unheard-of proportions were requested, going up to a size 6X-Large which could fit a 500-pound man.(2)
"We have to accommodate all varieties of sizes since we encounter a global population," said ICE spokesman Carl Rusnok.(2)
Criticism versus DHS protocolThe IFBs have bothered many who feel that underwear-buying solicitations from DHS should not be a priority, especially at a time when DHS recently removed service rifles from Border Patrol agents who are thought to have to protect themselves by sharing any firearms that remain.
According to a DHS Customs and Border Protection press release, removal of the rifles was a safety measure since some M4 carbines were found to be unserviceable during inspections. "Inspections will continue to ensure the unserviceable M4 carbines are repaired or replaced for reintroduction into the field," the release states.(2)
Others have made it clear that they feel spending time and money on clothing such individuals is a gesture that demonstrates an extension of aid, much like employment and education, that should not be granted. All of the politics that surface when it comes to the issue of illegal immigration bubble up in this and many other instances surrounding the topic.
However, it would seem that such IFBs are a matter of formality and an indication that DHS is simply engaging in protocol when it comes to providing detainees with personal hygiene supplies. For example, the "ICE/DRO Detention Standard" notes that its purpose is to ensure "that each detainee is able to maintain acceptable personal hygiene practices through the provision of adequate bathing facilities and the issuance and exchange of clean clothing, bedding, linens, towels, and personal hygiene items."(4)
When it comes to the clothing provided at Service Processing Centers (SPCs) and Contract Detention Facilities (CDFs), the ICE/DRO Detention Standard states:
All new detainees shall be issued clean, indoor/outdoor temperature-appropriate, size appropriate, presentable clothing during in-processing at no cost to the detainee. In SPCs and CDFs, the standard issue of clothing is two uniform shirts and two pairs of uniform pants or two jumpsuits; two pairs of socks; two pairs of underwear; and one pair of facility-issued footwear. The color of the uniform/jumpsuit shall depend on the detainee's classification level. Additional clothing shall be issued as necessary for changing weather conditions or as seasonally appropriate. Footwear that is worn out or damaged will be replaced at no cost to the detainee.
For both males and females, personal items of clothing, including undergarments, are not permitted.(4)
No lack of companies who provide underwear for detaineesCompanies that specialize in providing undergarments for detainee purposes seem to be commonplace.
For example, a quick Internet search yielded AmericanDetentionSupplies.com, which has a bevy of sections on their site including "undergarments for male and female detainees in prisons, jails, and other detention facilities on a county, state, or federal level" in sizes up to a 12XL. The site is a division of Anchortex.com, which has a range of correctional and detention facility supplies including thermal underwear, bras, boxers and briefs.(5,6)
The most recent undergarment IFB is scheduled to end November 17, 2014.
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